TerryMcK Posted March 27, 2021 Share Posted March 27, 2021 (edited) I've had my Altair Astro Hershel Solar Wedge since last November but only did first light today on it - in between rain and the clouds. We actually had "sunny spells". I had broken down my mini deep sky rig centred around the William Optics Zenithstar 73, removing the flattener/reducer and reinstating the M63 2" eyepiece/camera adapter. Into it's place I put the very nicely made Altair Astro solar wedge. I finished it off with the ZWO ASI183MC Pro into the other side of the wedge inserting into the 2" adapter. So I then mounted it onto the HEQ5Pro which I had roughly aligned to the north and set it level. I decided to use Kstars/EKOS/Indi to control the mount and plugged the USB3 camera cable into a WIndows PC running the paid for version of Sharpcap. Then I simply told KStars to point the scope at the sun and just had to loosen off the RA slightly to get an image of the sun projected into the translucent screen on the back of the wedge. I found I had to also slightly adjust the DEC too but was soon in the centre. The next thing was focusing. The scope has a Lakeside focuser and I didn't know what focus I should be looking at. So manually running the focuser inwards in steps of a 1000 and then out again soon got me roughly in focus. I found that with this setup the WO focuser was at 32mm projection. Then setting the Lakeside software to a finer number I was able to nail it. When I looked in Sharpcap I noticed the camera had connected as a USB2 device. I have had this before with Windows PCs and no amount of unplugging it and reinserting it helped this time. So I resigned myself to USB2 only for this session. Looking on the screen I saw the suns full disk and what appeared to be a bug or fly on the screen. Then I realized it was actually a sunspot!. I've never seen one live before so it added a bit of excitement during these strange pandemic times. So I then changed the region of interest down to around 640 x 480 pixels and played around with exposure a little. Then I made a few videos in SER format. The clouds stopped play so I packed up and went to see what I had got. I processed the 4 videos I took in the Autostackkert 64bit software and pushed the tif files into Photoshop and had a play around - it is false colour tritone . To my surprise I had also picked up some granulation and the sunspot. The picture below was a stack of a 200 frame video choosing 50% of the images. So not very long. I think the frame rate was around 160 frames/s if I remember correctly. If I had the camera connected at USB3 I'm sure it would have been much quicker. So here is my first, but not last, picture of the sun. The sunspot looks a bit overdone to me but hey ho. No doubt I will get better with practice. Scope: William Optics ZS73 Solar: Altair Astro Herschel Solar Wedge Camera: ZWO ASI183MM Pro OSC Mount: HEQ5 Pro Observatory Control: Astroberry running KStars/EKOS/Indi for mount control only Capture Software: Sharpcap Process Software: Photoshop CC 2021 Edited March 27, 2021 by TerryMcK 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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