Staring at the Sun, 73

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10/25/2014. Fireworks for Monty's birthday.... An X1 flare from the huge sunspot group transiting the Sun this week erupted while I watched. I'd hauled the solar kit and the G11 up to the cul de sac and was taking data for a six panel mosaic when low level flaring suddenly (over the course of 10-15 seconds?) intensified and spread. The flare peaked at X1 during these imaging runs. The long-neglected solar imaging computer ran out of juice after just 16 minutes, but by then I had the videos in the can. They're not the sharpest ever (practice...) but they do not suck. I put this together while ensconced in a corner at Monty Minton's birthday party (sorry, guys, but sometimes you just have to see what you've got).



X1 flare
October 25, 2014
Best 80 of 500 frames x 6





Except where noted, solar photos are made with a ZWO Optical ASI120MM camera (ca. June 2013) behind a Lunt Solar Systems 60mm THa with its objective replaced by an Orion 90mm F10 achromat. The telescope uses a B600 blocking filter and is mounted piggyback with an Astro-Tech 10-inch Ritchey-Chretien (carefully capped!) on an Astro-Physics Mach1GTO mount. A Dell Latitude notebook running FireCapture provides camera control and capture services via USB 2.0. Images typically begin as 400 - 1200 frame AVI's captured at about 27 fps. Clips are aligned and stacked using AVIStack 2.0. The resulting files are processed via wavelet functions in Registax and / or the FocusMagic 3.0.2 deconvolution plug-in in Photoshop CS4. Alternatively, PixInsight picks up the processing somewhere in the workflow after AVIStack processing. The imaging train usually includes an Orion "Shorty" 2x barlow screwed into the ASI120MM body. A RoboFocus motor with a timing belt looped around the stock (or, sometimes, a Feathertouch) focus knob enables remote operation.


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                   © 2014, David Cortner