First Solar Observations

June 26 2011
Today the sun was out so I decided to put my newly made solar filter to the test. It would be strange setting up my kit in the blazing sunshine with no pole star to polar align. I was concerned how I would set my kit up and get it tracking the sun but it was quite easy. 
I have some marks on a patio which I align my mount and tripod too we observing at night. I used these marks, entered all my information into the handset and delved into the menus and sub menus to activate the solar tracking rate. Following this I needed to manually align the scope with the sun as I could not find the sun listed within the solar system part of the handsets catalogue. Presumably this is not listed for safety reasons. Next time, I might try connecting my mount to Stellarium  and seeing if I can select the Sun from there. Despite this alignment was easy, as all that is required is a careful eye on the shadow cast but your scope to see when this is its smallest. Following that some small tweaks whilst using a low power EP brought the sun into shot.

© Lee Diggle 2011

© Lee Diggle 2011
First I took a few shots with my DSLR connected to get the full Sun disk in shot. This was rather plain and lacking of detail, which was to be expected.

© Lee Diggle 2011
After this I decided to give the Titan a try. With a smaller FOV it would pick up a smaller area of the sun and combined with a barlow would allow me to pick out active sunspots.

Unfortunately the conditions were not ideal for this, it was quite windy and I found it very difficult to achieve focus and capture decent data. In addition to this I have a lot to learn about using Registax to stack capture data. 
Anyway, below is my rather feeble attempt as capturing some sunspots.

© Lee Diggle 2011
Note: The NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory website is a good resource for knowing what is going on, on our home star (

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