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Solar imaging with current equipment

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#1 TJR01

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 01:07 PM

I'd like to start trying soalr imaging (particularly in Ha) but without spending lots of money on new equipment like a dedicated solar scope.

What would I need to do with my current equipment to make it suitable for solar imaging, and what of my current setup would be most ideal for solar imaging?

 

I'm guessing in terms of a scope, either the Vixen 102M or Skywatcher ST80 will be fine, but using the ST80 for the whole sun and the Vixen for close ups?

And in terms of the camera is frame rate > resolution? In which case I'd use the ZWO 120MC. 

I'd plan on using the Ha filter in the EFW mini in front of whichever camera I use.

 

What modification would I need to do the setup to make it safe for solar imaging? Is there some filter I can get that I just put over the front element whenever I do solar imaging, but can be easily removed when I'm not? And what's the best way of going about this?

 



#2 MalVeauX

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 01:36 PM

Heya,

 

Check out the stickies; lots of new info there worth reading. Unfortunately a lot of what you described doesn't work here.

 

Your nighttime HA filter in a filter wheel is not suitable for chromosphere imaging of the sun. It's too wide bandpass. It would need to be sub-angstrom to even begin to be suitable.

 

So start with the stickies, come back with questions, and let's all go from there. The best way to starting and going about this is informing yourself and asking questions. :)

 

Very best,


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#3 barbarosa

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 01:36 PM

The safe and inexpensive expensive way is to buy a continuum or white light solar filter to fit over the objective end of whatever scope you use. Baader film gets high marks. You can get film that shows an orange image or you can get a glass filter.  But you absolutely need a dedicated solar filter over the objective.

 

What you cannot do is just put a standard Ha filter ahead of the camera.

 

The next step up is a Herschel wedge. In a small refractor the wedge IR is wasted out by the wedge. No filter is needed for the objective.

 

The next step is a dedicated solar filter such as the Quark. Some models will show you prominences or surface features depending on how you set it.

 

Some decide to go with a dedicated scope such as those from Lunt or Meade



#4 viewer

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 02:19 PM

It may be the most affordable solar H-alpha system is a dedicated scope after all. The Lunt 40mm at $675 (soon $599) appears to take the front seat, the good old Meade Coronado PST at $799.99 being overtaken.

 

The dedicated h-alpha telescopes are the most affordable because the price of the h-alpha etalon filter is high compared to the rest of the telescope. And quark "eyepiece" systems go beyond $1000 as new.

 

Start with front mounted white light solar film for below $100, you'll want it anyway as solar activity catches on smile.gif. But for seeing the dynamics of the sun, there's no way around the narrow solar h-alpha bandpass. Maybe getting it used?


Edited by viewer, 03 December 2021 - 02:42 PM.

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#5 B 26354

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 02:42 PM

It may be the most affordable solar H-alpha system is a dedicated scope after all. The Lunt 40mm at $675 (soon $599) appears to take the front seat, the good old Meade Coronado PST at $799.99 being overtaken.

 

The dedicated telescopes are the most affordable because the price of the h-alpha etalon filter is high compared to the rest of the telescope. 

+1

 

Been a DSO observer for more than six decades, but never looked through an H-alpha scope until this past August, when I bought a Lunt 40mm for $600. I love this little scope. The views through it are simply amazing... and as the new sunspot cycle is finally in its upswing, they're just gonna get better and better over the next several years.  grin.gif



#6 viewer

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 02:59 PM

+1

 

Been a DSO observer for more than six decades, but never looked through an H-alpha scope until this past August, when I bought a Lunt 40mm for $600. I love this little scope. The views through it are simply amazing... and as the new sunspot cycle is finally in its upswing, they're just gonna get better and better over the next several years.  grin.gif

The fact is, if I accidently dropped my PST on the floor (heaven forbid!) I'd probably get the Lunt 40mm. I like to place myself closer to $1000 than $2000, shipping and also customs included.

 

Just feel I will try to make the most of the most affordable h-alpha, which still is a lot! 'Specializing' in prominences helps me on that journey, as double stack isn't even favorable for them wink.gif


Edited by viewer, 03 December 2021 - 04:41 PM.


#7 viewer

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 05:10 PM

What do you think about this one? Daystar solar scout: https://www.daystarf...60ScoutDS.shtml.

"DS" and 60mm for under a grand. Needs power supply though.

And not exactly what you OP asked for...


Edited by viewer, 03 December 2021 - 05:22 PM.


#8 Highburymark

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 12:32 PM

What do you think about this one? Daystar solar scout: https://www.daystarf...60ScoutDS.shtml.
"DS" and 60mm for under a grand. Needs power supply though.
And not exactly what you OP asked for...


Not DS (double stacked)!! - that’s creative marketing taken to its most extreme lengths. It’s an entry-level, non-removable Quark in a small refractor. Might get lucky and get an ok etalon that’s usable for imaging, but for visual the Lunt 40 or 50 will be so much better.
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