Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Sun Thursday 30th June 2011

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A little more activity on the Sun today (at about 10.00BST).  Bizibilder has the day off from work so could get out to image before the heat of the day had set in.  A couple of videos were made and stacked to give the close-ups of area 1242.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Monday 27th’s Sun

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Area 1240 is all that’s on view – very small spots and some brighter granulation.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

A Sun “Finder”

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One problem with Solar observing is aligning the telescope towards the Sun in the first place!  Bizibilder has been using his computer controlled “goto” mount recently but would prefer to use a simpler, portable mount for Solar work – leaving the “posh” mount set up for night time imaging.  So he has built a “finder” – a simple piece of bent aluminium strip 1mm thick with a 1.5mm hole in the middle of one of the uprights.  This is bolted to the scope and a small image of the Sun appears on the opposite upright, which is covered in masking tape to help see the image!  Works a treat.  ( It can be adjusted with a little judicious bending).

Now all Bizibilder has to do is make a “posh” one!!

Saturday 26th June Sun

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Area 1239 is now all that is visible of the group that has bees visible for the last week or so.  The Sun seems quiet again! Some bright faculae can be seen on the left of the disc – so maybe a few more spots are to to appear?

Friday, 24 June 2011

Garden birds

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A couple of Goldfinches were eating their way through some flower seeds this afternoon – So Bizibilder took a few pictures, this being about the best one.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Tuesday’s Sun 21 June 2011

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Today’s Sun through yet more hazy cloud!  Area 1236 now has a distinct following group – 1239.  Area 1240 is just a bit of a smudge at the moment – we shall have to see if and how it develops.

Monday, 20 June 2011

A Cloudy Sun

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The Sun today at around 17.00 BST – Through quite thick cloud!!  This image has been severely Photoshopped!!  Only area 1236 is visible through the murk.  Scopes etc. as before

Sunday, 19 June 2011

A Prototype

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This is Bizibilder’s Solar telescope set-up.  The box is a prototype to cover the laptop used for imaging and camera control.  It is impossible to see the laptop screen in bright sunlight so the “box” is proving useful.  The laptop goes through the large opening (as do Bizibilder’s hands when typing) and the smaller slit is to look through to see the laptop screen.  Works quite well but Bizibilder feels a few mods coming on!  It is made of “Correx” board – sold in builders merchants as floor protection sheets.  It is very lightweight but reasonably rigid.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

The Sun on a showery Saturday afternoon.

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Bizibilder managed to dodge the showers and clouds this afternoon to get these photo’s of the Sun.  The large spot (now labelled Active Area 1236) has continued to grow and has some smaller spots following it across the disc.  Area 1234 is still visible but has become less well defined.  A new area (1237) of faculae has appeared around the limb.  Full disc photo’s Canon 1000D at prime focus of a 120mm F/8 refractor, stopped to 100mm,  ISO 100, 1/500Sec Baader Solar Filter.  Lower two photo’s are from movies taken with the 1000D (and some fancy software to make a movie from its “live view” function) stacked in Registax (around 800 out of 1000 frames stacked).

Area 1236 18 June 2011 webcam  By using the webcam Bizibilder was able to get this close-up of group 1236. (The “seeing” was awful!!  Bizibilder tried to get a greater magnification but all he managed was a blur!)

PS Bizibilder has given up the rather silly (if pretty) “Orange Suns”!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Finding your way around the Sun!

Directions

The picture above shows how Astronomers present pictures of the Sun.  South is at the top, North at the bottom!  This is because astronomical telescopes produce an inverted image (but not all of them do!).  The Sun rotates from left to right when viewed in this orientation (see arrow) so we call the left hand side East and the right West.  (If you get an atlas of Earth and turn it upside down then East is left and West is right).

Wednesday’s Sun (14th June 2011 17.00 BST)

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Todays Sun showing a new, large sunspot that has just appeared round the Solar limb (edge) from the other side (See “full frame size close-up).  You can see the darker central “umbra” and the surrounding “penumbra” – there is also an area nearer the limb that may be a further group of sunspots?  We shall see tomorrow!  This is a new active area and has not been allocated a number yet.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Today’s Sun

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Sunspot area 1234 has split into two distinct spots that are VERY small!  Otherwise a quiet Sun today – You can see the effect of the Sun’s rotation on group 1234 from yesterdays image.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Saturday Sun

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A Saturday afternoon Sun.  Two active areas, 1234 is a sunspot with a tiny associated group and 1232 is a bright region or facula (faculae). A single frame with a Canon 1000D and a 120mm f/8 refractor stopped to 100mm.  ISO 100 1/500 sec Baader Solar Filter. Bizibilder has had a play in Photoshop to make the image orange!  The other is the “straight” white light view.

Friday, 10 June 2011

A nifty bit of Software!

Bizibilder has found a bit of software that allows him to take “videos” with his DSLR camera – It uses the “Liveview” function of the Canon camera to do this.  Anyway the upshot is that he can take mosaic panes of the Moon that are each much larger than the ones that he can take with his webcam – This means fewer panes to mosaic the whole of the Moon.  There are one or two other technical benefits (as well as a few problems!!) so he will be experimenting.  The images below are really only experimental:

Moon craters

Moon seas and craters

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Bizibilder’s first Sun Photo

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Bizibilder has finally gotten around to buying a proper Solar Filter to enable him to take pictures of the Sun.  The filter is a thin plastic sheet coated in Aluminium on both sided – It fits across the “entrance” of the telescope thus preventing the light and heat from the Sun from entering the telescope.  Just sufficient light gets through to allow photography.  Even so an exposure of 1/1000sec at ISO 100 was enough to capture this image.  It is a single frame.  The right hand image has been coloured in Photoshop – Some folk prefer this sort of thing even though it is entirely fake!  The left hand image is as it came out from the camera.

Bizibilder NEVER looks through the telescope at the Sun, even with the filter in place!!  He can always buy a new camera but he can never replace a damaged eye!

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN EITHER WITH OR WITHOUT A TELESCOPE UNLESS YOU HAVE THE CORRECT FILTERS IN PLACE – YOU WILL BE BLINDED!!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

A Moon for comparison

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Just to show (Roughly) relative sizes Bizibilder has put a “Moon” onto his image in the last post – That Nebulosity is HUGE!!

North American and Pelican Nebulae

Huge Nebula Mosaic

Well - I managed two hours of data (2min subs), this time of the Pelican Nebula, to add to my NGC 7000 from the other night. The idea being to try and make a mosaic of this area. The Pelican seems considerably fainter than NGC7000 but it seems to have come out OK.
SW EQ80 PRO, Reducer, SW LP Filter, Unmodded Canon 1000D, HEQ5/EQMOD/ASCOM guided with finder/QHY5. Processed in DSS, PS CS5 with Noel's actions. Merged with Canon Photostitch (as MS ICE wouldn't do it and I don't know how to merge in PS yet!!)

I'm reasonably pleased ith the outcome as these are my first attempts at Nebulae and a mosaic.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Been for a walk!

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Only 50 yards from Mr and Mrs Bizibilder’s home is an open area, criss-crossed by paths and with a couple of streams running through it.  It contains a small children’s play area, a “nature area” full of nesting birds etc. and most of the locals seem use it to walk and exercise their dogs.  I guess its around a mile long and half a mile wide – a very pleasant hours walk.

The North American Nebula (NGC7000)

NGC7000 Final 31 May 2011

This is only a part of a HUGE area of nebulosity (You can see where it gets its common name from!).  It is part of the Milky Way and can be seen in the constellation Cygnus (the Swan) – But not with the naked eye or even a small scope.  It needs a long exposure to reveal its detail.  The above is 1h 24min using my unmodified Canon 1000D (which is the “wrong” camera as it has a filter in it that cuts off much of the red part of the spectrum!) and a guided SW ED80 PRO Telescope.  There was only around an hour and a half of “true” darkness last night and Bizibilder managed to make use of most of it.