Saturday, April 22, 2017

Solar Imaging Session - April 23, 2017

The sky this morning is clear and seeing condition is fair. AR2651 Sunspot Group in Ha wavelength is ejecting some flares from its main core while new AR2653 Sunspot Group is quiet. There is also a huge , wide dark filament in the NE limb. No big prominences visible except for a few small ones.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Solar Imaging Session - April 21, 2017

The sky this morning is very hazy and seeing condition is fair. I initially had a hard time focusing on the Sun as all are wobbly but after an hour, the seeing stabilizes a bit for me to image AR2651 Sunspot Group flaring up as well as 3 huge prominences visible both at NE and NW limb! The NE limb has 2 huge ones. one faint and the other bright while the best of the 3 is visible in the NW limb producing a beautiful loop prominence! The sky then clouded out again only for me to recapture AR2651 Sunspot Group in white light after lunch with fair seeing condition.

Heating Up My Old ATIK 16HR camera

Problem with the old but trusty ATK 16HR CCD camera is that it has a frost problem when it reaches maximum temperature of 25 deg C below ambient temperature. As the ccd front glass cover starts to frost, it will produce a small blur in the middle of the field of view thus hampering imaging session so one has to use a hair blower set at low setting to disperse the frost from the glass. But after another 30 mins or less, frost will return and one has to do again the dryer remedy and this is tedious. This wont occur if one is imaging in the city where temperature is high in our country. As long as the outside temperature doesnt fall below 25deg C, most of the time , one can get away with frost. But since one needs a dark sky to do serious deep sky imaging like in Caliraya, Laguna where average temp can go down to about 25 deg C in the summer and as low as 18 deg C during "Ber" months. This is trouble. But the modern CCD nowadays has a set temp mode which one can lessen the cold Peltier cooler. This is mostly remedied. But since I don't have resources to get a new one, I'm stuck with the use of dryer till I tested using a dew heater strip near the nosepiece of the camera and it does helps but problem is too many dangling cords around the camera and is prone to accidental snapping of wires thus when i hear ZWO made a cheap but reliable dew heater thin strip for their ASI cool camera. I tested one for my 16HR as their version is very thin but unfortunately, it doesn't fit into the back nosepiece of my 16HR as it is too thick and wide :( But i got to check that I can attach it directly to the T2 ring between the camera and the filter drawer or wheel and it is still close to the cover glass and the power is drawn together with the camera power by way of split wires with connector and after installing them last night. It looks like it is worth it and I hope to be able to test it on our upcoming Caliraya imaging session to see if it works under the condition there. Will give further updates after the test.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Solar Imaging Session - April 20, 2017

The sky this morning is very cloudy and I had a hard time doing any imaging as the clouds are very pesky this morning! But after lunch , I was able to get another attempt at the Sun and seeing condition is fair. AR2651 Sunspot Group continues to grow a little bigger as it comes out of Wilson Effect. AR2651 Sunspot Group in Ha wavelength is very active and I'm expecting it to be even more active as the days comes toward this weekend in time for the Global Astronomy Month's SUNDay Free Solar Public Viewing event on April 23, 2017 (Sunday) 3:00-6:30pm PST at SM Mall of Asia By The Bay (SMBY). When I'm going to image the Sun in white light wavelength , seeing deteriorates but I still proceeded to image it despite the poorer condition.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Solar Imaging Session - April 19, 2017

The sky this morning is partly cloudy and I had a hard time imaging. As i concentrated on AR2651 Sunspot Group development, there is a large hedgerow prominence just above the NE limb. As i was compositing, I saw a faint large ring just beside the limb where AR2651 is located and I turn up exposure and behold! A huge looped prominence with the shape of a half heart emerging from the limb! I had to readjust camera position so that I can squeeze both prominences as well as AR2651 Sunspot Group and a large dark filament in one frame as too many clouds for me to take the risk to individually image all. Aside from that, I was also able to image AR2650 Sunspot Group as well as the Long Dark Filament in the Southern limb before I got obstructed by our damn roof :( So no white light image of AR2651 Sunspot Group :(

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Solar Imaging Session - April 18, 2017

The sky this morning is partly clear but seeing condition is good. Former AR2644 Sunspot Group has emerged out of the eastern limb and is now designated AR2651 Sunspot Group. There is also a possibility of a new sunspot group developing above AR2651 Sunspot Group as well. It looks like the coming week will be exciting to monitor as everyone is probably hoping that AR2651 Sunspot Group will be giving a good show on both white light and Ha wavelength. The southern long dark filament is still visible. Numerous prominences also perked up the past few days solar boredom. AR2650 Sunspot Group continues to decay further as it nears the western limb.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Solar Imaging Session - April 17, 2017

The sky this morning is hazy and seeing condition is fair. AR2650 Sunspot Group in Ha wavelength is almost calming down dramatically and the only prominent feature on the Sun right now is the long dark filament in tbe southern limb. No large prominences are also visible this morning. Very boring session :(

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Solar Imaging Session - April 16, 2017

The sky this morning is partly cloudy but seeing condition is good. AR2650 Sunspot Group is gone but its remnant can still be seen in Ha wavelength. There is also a nice group of eruptive prominence in the NE limb. The huge long dark filament visible yesterday in the south limb has snapped already and its main filament component is still visible and still quite long till now. No new sunspot group has yet emerge out of the eastern limb.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Solar Imaging Session - April 15, 2017

I wake up late this morning as my back hurts after a 3.5 hour swim with my family at Ace Water Spa to cool off my hot body. The sky this morning is partly cloudy but seeing condition is poor as I had a hard time focusing on the Sun! AR2650 Sunspot Group is losing steam as even in Ha wavelength, the flaring activity inside its core is starting to die down. The huge long dark filament is extremely long that I need to reduce down my usual 400mm focal length to 300mm just to fit the entire filament in the field of view of my ZWO ASI120MM webcam at full 1280x960 image resolution. I wasn't able to image AR2650 Sunspot Group in white light wavelength as I got obstructed by the roof already.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Solar Imaging Session - April 14, 2017

The sky this morning is clear but seeing is fair. AR2648 Sunspot Group officially exits the western limb. AR2650 Sunspot Group looks like starting to decay yesterday has now sprung up a few more spots on its end thus lengthening its size a bit are are mostly pore like structures. No large prominences are also visible except for a huge long dark filament near the southern limb crossing the central meridian.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Solar Imaging Session - April 13, 2017

The sky this morning is clear but seeing condition is poor. I had a hard time focusing on details as image very jumpy. AR1648 Sunspot Group is nearing the western limb and probably will see it till tomorrow or next before it completely exit. AR2650 Sunspot Group in Ha wavelength is getting quiet after a few days of high activity. In white light, AR2650 Sunspot Group is slowly decaying in size. No large prominences visible today except for few small ones only.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Solar Imaging Session - April 12, 2017

The sky this morning is clear and seeing condition is good. AR2650 Sunspot Group continues to be very active in Ha wavelength with numerous flares and dark filaments inside its core. Remnant of AR2648 Sunspot Group is fading fast and is losing much of its solar activity inside its core. There are numerous solar prominences this morning and the biggest one can be seen in the SE limb as well as in the NE limb.

Lunar Imaging Session - April 11, 2017

After I meet up with fellow astronomy enthusiast Frank Cesarski over dinner, I try to image the Full Moon or April Pink Moon using Canon EOS 500D DSLR on Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens set at 400mm f/11 on sturdy tripod. 1/125 sec exposure at ISO 100.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Solar Imaging Session - April 11, 2017

The sky this morning is clear and seeing is also very good. Lots of Large prominences this morning with the 2 big ones visible at NE and SE limb! AR2650 Sunspot Group continues to grow little by little while remnant of AR2648 Sunspot Group in Ha wavelength still visible.