Outfitting a C14 Edge for Solar Imaging

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jbaldwin
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Outfitting a C14 Edge for Solar Imaging

Post by jbaldwin » Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:53 pm

Howdy,

I have recently begun to gain interest in solar imaging. I currently have a setup which is specifically built for deep space imaging with the primary equipment being:
C14 Edge HD
ZWO AsI1600MM - Cooled
CGE Pro Mount


After doing a bit of digging, I found a few nice solar scopes (ie: ls152 lunt, solarmax III, etc.)

My hope was to use the C14 after properly outfitting it instead of going with a dedicated solar OTA.

The observation goals are more research centric (don't care about viewing by eye, only via instrument / ccd).
Studying the sun's magnetic fields are of much interest to me (although I don't know much about how to approach this currently via equipment).

Here are some of the items I have run across so far:
ERF - https://cloudbreakoptics.com/products/e ... 3861797702

DayStar Quark - https://www.highpointscientific.com/day ... =DAY-DSZCC

Calcium & KLine - http://www.daystarfilters.com/calcium.shtml
Since this a completely new area to me, I was hoping a few of you might be able to further educate me on the topic.

Are these components / equipment good for a solar setup via the C14 edge hd OTA?
What other components / equipment do I need (if any) to safely image and not damage hardware or housing?
Apart from the above, are there recommendations for other components which would help with the study of magnetic activity? (either directly or by proxy)

-Jeremy



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Re: Outfitting a C14 Edge for Solar Imaging

Post by marktownley » Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:21 am

Hi Jeremy,

Welcome to the forum!

Quite simply I wouldn't recommend you use that C14 at all for solar. For the price of the ERF you could buy refractor, not need an ERF and get a Quark up and running on it.

You're not going to be able to use a calcium filter with the C14, even with the Daystar ERF, it does not pass those wavelengths.

Mark


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Re: Outfitting a C14 Edge for Solar Imaging

Post by christian viladrich » Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:29 am

Hello Jeremy,
Interesting question. Here are a few comments/ information to start with.

- Solar (and also lunar, planetary) imaging becomes more or more difficult as the aperture of the telescope increases :
  • Up to 100-120 mm, it is "easy",
    ]with a 200 mm aperture, you have to fight with the seeing,
    with a 250 - 300 mm aperture, you need excellent seeing condition and solve a number of issues (collimation, focusing, thermal balance) which ask for passing through a learning curve
In other words, a 150 mm refractor can easily outperform a 350 mm SC if every issues associated with the use of a large aperture are not solved.

Now, regarding the use of a C14 for solar imaging:

1) White light imaging :
This can be done, provided you have excellent seeing, colimation and focusing. You need a full aperture AstroAsolar film of density 3.8. The big problem there is that these filters are no longer available in these large sizes. So I am afraid this is a"no go".
For the record, here is any example of solar image taken with my C14 :
http://astrosurf.com/viladrich/astro/so ... 14-red.jpg

2) Ha imaging :
You need a full aperture ERF. Otherwise, this is perfectly useless to use your C14. You would have similar (or even better) results with a 100 mm refractor.
This beeing said, a 360 mm ERF is a bit expensive, and achieving good results in Ha HR imaging with a C14 has only been done by one guy in the world (Valery / Aries).
So, I am afraid it is better to forget about it at this stage.

3) Ca K imaging :
You can also forget about it since the C14 suffers of a huge spherical aberration in the blue/UV.

At the end of the day,I would recommend using a 100-150 mm refractor (depending on your budget) with a full aperture quality ERF (such as Baader Planetarium). This will give you access to white light, Ha and Ca K.
Then, if you want to improve on that, you can go for a 200 mm refractor or reflector with the appropriate quality filtration.

I am sorry if this sounds a bit disappointing ..


Christian Viladrich
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Re: Outfitting a C14 Edge for Solar Imaging

Post by christian viladrich » Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:36 am

You can also have a look at this discussion :
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=30761


Christian Viladrich
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Co-author of "Astronomie Solaire"
http://www.astronomiesolaire.com/

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Re: Outfitting a C14 Edge for Solar Imaging

Post by Bob Yoesle » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:37 pm

Hi Jeremy,

One additional item not directly mentioned is that at the C14's focal length of 3.91 meters is impractical for use with a standard H alpha Quark. This is because the Quark incorporates a 4.2 x telecentric amplification lens, which would yield an EFL of 16.4 meters. You'd have to find some way to get the C-14 above Earth's atmosphere to image (or view) at that FL - or build a deformable mirror adaptive optics system. Even at the native FL of 3.91 meters, and using a 130 mm off-axis sub diameter ERF with a Combo Quark to get an f30 light cone, it would be quite difficult to get decent images unless you're on an island in the middle of the ocean with sub-arcsecond daytime seeing conditions.
The observation goals are more research centric (don't care about viewing by eye, only via instrument / ccd)... are there recommendations for other components which would help with the study of magnetic activity? (either directly or by proxy)
I find these statements to be curious. While I don't want to sound too negative, and given the previous posts and discussions regarding aperture, focal lengths, wavelengths, etc., you don't seem to have much familiarity with what solar viewing / imaging actually involves, let alone doing research on "magnetic activity." As I am want to do these days on these imaging-centric forums, is to advise that you spend some time becoming familiar with our nearest star.

I therefore would recommend the other components you should consider to be the Mark 1 eyeball and a decent couple of eyepieces and a binoviewer. Get yourself a good refractor and some books on solar observation and equipment, and familiarize yourself with what the various types of solar "magnetic activity" are. You'll then be better able to spend your time - and money - more productively. You might just find visual observation to be rewarding in its own right, and be better prepared for imaging once you're up to speed on the realities of solar equipment and observation.

Just 2 cents worth of advice from an old hippie guy, who from actual listening knows LP's sound better than CD's.


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Re: Outfitting a C14 Edge for Solar Imaging

Post by DeepSolar64 » Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:52 am

Valery has an Ha capable C14 edge HD? WoW. Celestron/Airylab HaT maxes out with the C11 Edge.


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Re: Outfitting a C14 Edge for Solar Imaging

Post by jbaldwin » Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:01 am

An incredible amount of helpful information!

Thank you everyone for it (and a very appreciated thanks for being welcomed to the forums!).
@Christian V. - The image is incredible!

@Bob Y. - You are correct, my knowledge is fairly limited currently. I am a software and graphics engineer with very little time spent in the realm of solar imaging. However, I am a very quick learner, which is why I am choosing to be a bit more aggressive with upfront investment regarding equipment. It is another reason why I chose to reach out, knowing my knowledge in this area is severely lacking. And not at all, I don't see you as being negative. I am thankful for the straight forward feedback!

Now that I am a bit more informed, perhaps I should ask a different question.
Please do understand my ambitions might be unrealistic, but that is why I await the continued feedback to become better educated.

My primary goal:
> Better understand the magnetic field
> Close up analysis / imaging
> Extreme UV Analysis (if possible)

Budget:
> I am fine to spend upwards of 10 - 15 thousand, potentially more.

Knowing these two things, what would you all recommend I look into equipment wise?

-Jeremy



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Re: Outfitting a C14 Edge for Solar Imaging

Post by marktownley » Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:34 am

jbaldwin wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:01 am
what would you all recommend I look into equipment wise?
A solar seeing monitor and check what your daytime seeing conditions are like first...


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Re: Outfitting a C14 Edge for Solar Imaging

Post by christian viladrich » Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:42 am

Hi Jeremy,
At first, I would recommend some readings ... there is so much to say:
Jamy Jenkins - Observing the Sun
https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9781461480143

Our book "Solar Astronomy" ... you just have to wait a couple of months for the English translation :
http://www.astronomiesolaire.com/

If you are interested in magnetic fields, the way to go is to build a spectroheliograph. You will be able to "see" and measure magnetic fields. Have a look at this book by Ken Harrison. It could be very exciting:
https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319248721

You can also have a look here :
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=30793
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=30741

Regarding Extreme UV, forget about this. The Earth's atmopshere is opaque to EUV. Still, there is a lot of satelite data available in EUV and it is quite possible to play with these data (Trace, SOHO, HINODE, etc.).

The nearest to EUV is Ca K. Check for example here :
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=30782

Or here (but the budget is sky rocketing ...):
http://astrosurf.com/viladrich/astro/so ... a-150f.jpg

I guess "close up analysis/imaging" is what we usually call "high resolution imaging". Have a look on the forum to get some idea of what can be acheived.
You can also browse over some images here :
http://astrosurf.com/viladrich/astro/soleil/soleil.html

What is marvellous about solar observation is that there are some many possible things to do.

Maybe you can start with a 100 mm refractor equiped with a 90 mm Ha solar filter (Coronado SM 90), a Ca K solar filter (Lunt), a solar wedge, and a good camera (ASI174). Then, we would have a better feeling of what you would like to do.

Hope this helps.


Christian Viladrich
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http://planetary-astronomy.com/
Co-author of "Astronomie Solaire"
http://www.astronomiesolaire.com/

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Re: Outfitting a C14 Edge for Solar Imaging

Post by jbaldwin » Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:31 pm

@Mark - I will do so, thank you.
@Christian - Again, a plethora of resources! I very much appreciate it. I will read through the books, and begin looking into the suggested equipment.


-Jeremy



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