Finally, after years of resisting, the webcam imaging curse has struck me down. Fired by my enthusiasm and love for the amazing shots of the Sun taken through H-alpha telescopes over the last few years, I invested in the following equipment:
- Philips ToUcam 840k (off ebay)
- Asus Eee PC Netbook with Windows XP and 160Gb hard-drive (off ebay)
- Registax (Free software download)
The webcam itself seemed brand new when it arrived and I sent it off immediately to Astronomiser to have the chip replaced with a more sensitive B&W one, and be supplied with a suitable nosepiece and UV/IR cut filter.
Then, I scoured the Internet for tutorials and information on H-alpha imaging and using Registax and Photoshop Elements to process the avi videos that the webcam captures onto the netbook's hard-drive.
I'll list the best resources soon, but in the meantime, my imaging results are shown here for your interest.
My FIRST EVER H-alpha image of the Sun, taken through my Lunt 60 B1200 and procesed in Registax and Photoshop Elements. Not quite perfectly focused and a bit bland-looking, but still, it's a start!
My SECOND H-alpha image of the Sun! Better focus this time, using a large (Lunt) cardboard box to shield the netbook's screen from the Sun's glare. I used my new Lunt 60 B1200 PT (Pressure Tuned) for this shot. Spent more time on the processing, and took a longer capture (about 50 secs) to start with too.
Used different capture settings for this avi, 1/1000 sec exposures instead of 1/500, I think. Brought the prom out too, which only appeared in processing stage.
Prom detail only. Used 1/33 sec exposure time on the capture for this.
A year on from my last H-alpha effort and not a lot has changed - inmy processing at least! Haven't had enough practice but hopefully that will change now. This was captured at 1/500s, 10fps, about 1000 frames and the best 266 stacked and optimised in Registax. Then some further processing in Photoshop Elements 2.0
Another go at the Sun in H-alpha. Sat morning through open window. Focal reducer used so lrger portion of Sun. 1/1000 s exposure I think, stacked in Registax and processed in PS Elements.