FIRST LIGHT

Sky at Night Magazine - - 100 FIRST LIGHT -

a lack of any gran­u­la­tion de­tail. In sub­se­quent views with dif­fer­ent equip­ment this re­mained the case.

For imag­ing, we at­tached the eye­piece fil­ter to a 5-inch Astro-Tech TMB-130 re­frac­tor and later on a 3-inch Al­tair Star­wave 80ED re­frac­tor, us­ing a few dif­fer­ent cam­eras. We were impressed with the de­tail in the im­ages con­sid­er­ing the weather con­di­tions at the time. At­tach­ing a cam­era is easy – just re­move the eye­piece from the Quark and re­place it.

New­ton’s nui­sance

This Quark can be used with both mono­chrome and colour cam­eras, with mono de­vices giv­ing the sharpest de­tail. The fact that views through the sodium D-line are quite bright helps to keep imag­ing times down, but can pro­duce a phe­nom­e­non known as New­ton’s Rings – a se­ries of vis­i­ble con­cen­tric cir­cles. Op­tional tilt adap­tors are avail­able to com­pen­sate for this.

On the screen there was a lot more of the gran­u­la­tion de­tail that was miss­ing when sim­ply look­ing through the eye­piece, and when rov­ing over the sur­face of the Sun it was very easy to pick out the small­est of sunspots, which would be hid­den to a hy­dro­gen-al­pha setup. Daystar says the sodium D-line Quark can pick up flare foot­prints, but with the lack of so­lar ac­tiv­ity we didn’t see any. The de­tail around the larger sunspots, how­ever, was very good, and on the videos recorded re­mained very sta­ble.

It did take a lit­tle play­ing around to get the most from the videos – in the end we found that record­ing 1,000 frames for each and stack­ing the 100 top frames gave us the best re­sults – but when we did the D-line Quark gave us more de­tailed im­ages of sunspots then the cal­cium and hy­dro­gen-al­pha vari­ants. It is a pleas­ing ad­di­tion to the Quark fam­ily.

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