Solarscope compared SolarMax

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markmanner
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Solarscope compared SolarMax

Post by markmanner » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:35 pm

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have on loan a Solarscope SF-100. I just received a SolarMaxII 90mm/BF15, and did the first tests today. Conditions were not great, but I tried to make it as good a comparison as possible. I used the same telescope (TeleVue NP101), and camera (Flea-3) and 2.5x powermate, yielding a focal length of 1350mm. I did the Solarscope first at 9:30am, then the SolarMax at 10am. I will reverse that order tomorrow am so that the airmass and observatory/ground heating issues will be equivalent (airmass was a little bit higher during the solarscope test at 9:30 vs the solarmax test at 10am; but the observatory and ground was hotter during the Solarmax test than during the Solarscope test). I tried to process very similarly as well. My observation is that they are very similar, at least under the conditions that applied today. I would like to reserve judgment until I have a day with really good conditions, however.
I hope this is of some interest.


http://www.spotastro.com/Sun_Solarscope_100Test.html
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rsfoto
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Re: Solarscope compared SolarMax

Post by rsfoto » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:51 pm

Hi Mark,

Interesting comparison and so far the SM90 looks sharper and has more contrast.

Never heard about Airmass. Can you expand further what influence has this on the imaging ? 30 minutes of time difference mean 7.5° higher pointing of the scope, so less atmosphere to go through but perhaps more turbulence as 30 minutes time difference heated up the surroundings more ¿?
regards Rainer

Observatorio Real de 14 San Luis Potosi Mexico

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Re: Solarscope compared SolarMax

Post by marktownley » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:58 pm

Good comparison! Do you have the unprocessed versions of these photos you could share?
Image
http://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.co.uk/
Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

markmanner
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Re: Solarscope compared SolarMax

Post by markmanner » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:07 pm

Hi, Airmass is a number representing the attenuation of light by the mass of air between the scope and space. It is 1 at the zenith, and approx. 38 at the horizon. For the images I did today, airmass for the solarscope was 1.64 when the Sun was at an altitude of 37d, and 1.47 when the Sun was at an altitude of 43d. It is a convenient way of comparing the relative impact of the altitude of the target on an image and is used a good bit in photometry.
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rsfoto
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Re: Solarscope compared SolarMax

Post by rsfoto » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:14 pm

Hi Mark,

Thanks a lot :thanx:
regards Rainer

Observatorio Real de 14 San Luis Potosi Mexico

markmanner
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Re: Solarscope compared SolarMax

Post by markmanner » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:43 pm

Hi, link below to unprocessed images. These are what AutoStakkert generated from the raw AVI files. No wavelet or other processing.

http://www.spotastro.com/files/SS_SM_unprocessed.jpg
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markmanner
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Re: Solarscope compared SolarMax

Post by markmanner » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:37 pm

I had to take the borrowed Solarscope back today to Vanderbilt University, but got one more imaging session in compared to the SM90. See link below for both. Unfortunately, conditions weren't great for either test, and varied during the tests. For example, on the second day, during image acquisition for the SM90 prominence series, seeing was less good than just a few minutes before when doing the Solarscope. In a few weeks I will be able to get it back, and do some more tests, hopefully with better conditions.

I tried to do the processing equivalently, but I am not the most experienced solar image processor, so no doubt my processing is a factor. However, my conclusion based on the two days of side by side testing is that the SolarMaxII 90 unit I have compares favorably to the Solarscope SF-100. I prefer the surface detail in the SolarMax images, while the Solarscope may have slightly better prominence detail. Seeing variability may be mostly what I am seeing, however, in both cases.

http://www.spotastro.com/Sun_Solarscope_100Test.html
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Andy Devey
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Re: Solarscope compared SolarMax

Post by Andy Devey » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:18 pm

Hi Mark, a very interesting comparrison you are attempting there, hopefully you will get some excellent seeing conditions to compare how they perform to their maximum.

Have you considered going to over 3m focal length with the two to compare? I am using my SM90DS at 3.2m focal length [two 2 x Barlows], interestingly is is one of the very earliest scopes with a bespoked an unobstructed DS unit that I think was originally made in the Isle of Man [the home of solar scope] - only a hand full were ever produced due to high manufacture costs so later SM90's were internal DS units.

Regards

Andy

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Re: Solarscope compared SolarMax

Post by rsfoto » Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:37 pm

Hi Mark,

I have the feeling that the 100 has a narrower bandwidth, judging from the prominences, then the 90, but that should be also visible as more contrast on the Sun surface and it is not ¿?
regards Rainer

Observatorio Real de 14 San Luis Potosi Mexico

markmanner
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Re: Solarscope compared SolarMax

Post by markmanner » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:26 am

Hi Andy, I haven't tried it at longer FL yet, but will do that when I get the Solarscope back over in a couple of weeks.
Your site and images are great, by the way.
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