Solar Continuum
TrueToad / Saturday, July 1, 2017 / Categories: Astronomy, Solar Imaging

Solar Continuum

July Herschel Wedge

Having some new equipment I was anxious to get out and give the setup a try. However, the morning started with clouds and stayed that way until around 11:00 AM, right in time for the heat, hot and humid.  I should of taken a few pics of the setup but I was busy with dialing in all the gadgets.

Mount:  I used my CEM25P which worked well, but I had a problem with a slight drift, not sure what was causing that. I did re-calibrate the Hutech Solar Tracker which did help.  It is very likely I did not set the mount up to use the guider port, I need to read the manual. 

Camera:  ASI178 mono. I did try my DSLR but had back focus issues, I am still waiting on my low profile visual back for the Stellarvue SV80 that should address back focus for what I am doing - to simplify things.

Capture Software: I used the Fire Capture software from the ZWO site. It works well for my Solar imaging. However, the menus are so small and hard to read on my surface pro.  This is a problem I need to address to ensure trouble free workflow, and that is what I am after. More on this in a minute.

Other Software: I use RegiStax and Adobe Photosop CC to process the images, both these packages work wonderful.

PC: I used my MS Surface Pro.  Big problem today giving me frustration. First the tablet is way to difficult to read even when placed inside a laptop tent, and secondly it shut down on two occasions due to heat.  I guess I should be happy it shut down and not just fried it self.  I have a small 60x60x65" hunting blind coming, hopefully this solves a couple things - or give me more frustration.

Telescope: I used my Stellarvue SV80 Access, a great telescope. Showed no heat issues for the 4 hours I was out. 

Diagonal: Baader Herschel Solar Wedge, wonderful piece of gear I used one standard 3.0 ND along with my Continuum filter, this was border line too bright for imaging and I could have added one other 1% ND filter, but decided not too.

Visibility & Turbulence: The sky was noticeably turbulent by the time I got started due to clouds. 

Overall Issues: First is the heat issue with the tablet, I will need to provide a shade to resolve this, it simply got too hot out in the sun.  Second is the back focus issues, for visuals, using a 40mm eyepiece I  had to replace the default 2" eyepiece holder with a low profile 1 1/4 eyepiece adapter along with Baader adapters to ensure I could re-attach the necessary filters for safe viewing - a pain.  Once my low-profile visual back arrives, that should be history.  

The biggest pain is fiddling with the adapters to get the optical path shortened for visuals, and mounting the camera - direct to the wedge.  It would be soo much better if I could simply drop the camera into the eyepiece holder, refocus and keep going. but with the back focus issue I have to un-screw, find adapters, reattach..etc. you get the point.

A note about my "converted" Daystar Camera Quark, I bought the adapters to convert my camera quark to use with my telescope but still dealing with focus issues.  I will post some images once I get that all figured out.

I hope you enjoy the image - white light continuum.

Rate this article:
Mount MfgiOptron CEM25P
Camera UsedASI178
Guided ImageYes
  • Stellarvue SV80 Access
Filters Used
  • Baader Continuum
  • Badder Solar Herschel Wedge
  • Baader ND Filters

Cloud Cover in the early AM, had to wait until 11:00 AM to start, hot and humid.

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