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Sunspot 2670 (2017Aug04)

Solar Disc featuring Sunspot 2670 Solar Disc featuring Sunspot 2670 ©2017 Frederick Steiling
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Full resolution
Target Information
Main Target Designation(s) Sun, Sunspot 2670
All Exposures
Date(s) of acquisition 2017Aug04 at 17:32UT
Location Maplewood, MO
Capture resolution 320x240
Luminance Exposures
Total capture 35247 x 11.36ms at 55% gain
Stack source 20% of 400" video at 87 fps (avg)
Imager Olympus E-P5
Filters DIY 2.25" Off-Axis Solar Cell (AstroZap ND3.8)
Telescope/Lens Orion 8" f/3.9 Astrograph
Focal Length 800mm (effective f/14)
Mount Celestron CGEM (DIY Hypertuned)
Collimator Howie Glatter 650nm laser
Focusing Moonlite CR with V2 High-res Stepper
Processing PIPP 2.5.9, AutoStakkert!3, PixInsight 1.8, Photoshop CC

 Time to prepare for the coast-to-coast US eclipse on August 21, 2017!

The posted photo is my first solar shot using my 8" Newt in conjunction with a DIY solar cell I made for it with ND3.8 AstroZap solar film.  I was fortunate to set up the testing on a day during which the sun graced us with a sunspot, this one coined 2670.  I've added Jupiter and Earth for size comparison.  With the sun coming in at 109 times the diameter of Earth, it should come as no surprise that this "small" sunspot is larger than our home planet!

My solar cell I've fabricated allows me to safely image the sun using my existing equipment with fast exposures.  Because it is neutral density filtering, the images are captured as "white light" photographs.  For this reason, I've false-colored the disc at #ffc554 with an 80% blend in Photoshop to give a more familiar appearance.

As preparation for the eclipse, this scope (as filtered for direct solar photography as demonstrated here) will be used for high-resolution captures of the partial phases leading up to (and perhaps following) totality with full exposure of the disc.  During totality, however, I will switch to my 200mm lens (400mm equivalent focal length after crop factor) to attempt to catch the reaches of the solar corona, which can reach upwards of 5 solar radii!

The excitement is building toward this marvelous event in a few weeks, my first such astronomical experience!

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