Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Sun in HA

With the transit of Venus coming up in a few weeks I decided to take my solar telescope out. For those of you who have never heard of Coronado's (now Meade's) Personal Solar Telescope I'd encourage you to check it out.  It runs for about $500 and is one of the cheapest ways to look at the sun in Hydrogen Alpha.  Although it gives a tiny, full disk view of the sun its the easiest way to see solar flares and prominences that aren't visible through a white light filter. 

Anyway, its not designed for imaging because its nearly impossible to get a camera's chip close enough to the focal plane.  However, for anyone interested it is possible to do: you need to add a Barlow lens to your image train.  I actually used a 5x powermate last Sunday and got some absolutely stunning images of flares and prominences.  If your interested in the sun, this is really the best way to look at it without spending thousands of dollars. 

One of the things I found most interesting about these pictures was when I compared them to my earlier attempts.  Its nice to know that I'm actually getting more proficient at using my camera and telescopes.

 Not only do the new pictures show more solar detail but they are also taken with larger format camera and almost at a size I could print.

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