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Amateur pictures of the sun
January 2, 2008 9:43 AM   Subscribe

Here. This guy takes pictures of the sun. The actual big shiny one in the sky. Well not my sky right now but you probably know the one I'm talking about. They are stunning. And he did it with some simple gear. You could try it yourself. (How-to's temporarily off line).
posted by daveyt (38 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
MY GOD! THE SUN IS ON FIRE!
posted by tkchrist at 9:50 AM on January 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


His, and your idea of 'simple gear' and my idea of 'simple gear' are different. The pictures are great though.
posted by tellurian at 9:50 AM on January 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I like to just look at the sun.

Ow. It's so beautiful. Ow.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:01 AM on January 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


That's awesome.
posted by potch at 10:03 AM on January 2, 2008


how-to copy here (internet archive)
posted by zippy at 10:05 AM on January 2, 2008


ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS, EXCEPT THE SUN. ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE, FOR OBVIOUS REASONS.
posted by CynicalKnight at 10:05 AM on January 2, 2008 [14 favorites]


But, mama, that's where the fun is!
posted by kimota at 10:10 AM on January 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Perhaps I'm painfully ignorant, but these say "Solar", but there are a lot of pictures that look more like a moon. Categorizing mistake, or does the Sun shut off at night after all?
posted by davejay at 10:14 AM on January 2, 2008


Solar photography always reminds me of:

"Maximillian Cohen: 9:22, Personal note: When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun, so once when I was six, I did. At first the brightness was overwhelming, but I had seen that before. I kept looking, forcing myself not to blink, and then the brightness began to dissolve. My pupils shrunk to pinholes and everything came into focus and for a moment I understood."
posted by basicchannel at 10:17 AM on January 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I photographed the sun yesterday, well the bit were the fog was slightly lighter than the rest, anyway.

And I really this film had been better...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:20 AM on January 2, 2008


You don't need a fancy sunoscope, just use your binoculars!
posted by Mister_A at 10:22 AM on January 2, 2008


His, and your idea of 'simple gear' and my idea of 'simple gear' are different.

I dunno, this looks pretty simple.
posted by DU at 10:25 AM on January 2, 2008


Yeah, but it was attached to this. Guess we'll have to wait for the 'How To'.
posted by tellurian at 10:44 AM on January 2, 2008


Don't look at the Sun, it hurts your eyes, dummy!

For your health!
posted by Mikey-San at 10:48 AM on January 2, 2008


I think the computer is just so he can do tracking and then use registax. If you wanted to take simple photos, the camera + filter should be enough. I dunno what'd you see other than a big white circle, though.
posted by DU at 10:49 AM on January 2, 2008


I've managed to look at sunspots using nothing but an amateur telescope + filter. Don't know why photography would be different.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:54 AM on January 2, 2008


dude, the sun is bad fucking ASS.
posted by shmegegge at 11:07 AM on January 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can anyone tell how many stops down the pictures are from a naked exposure? Like, is it do-able with a few stacked ND filters and f/32 on a zoom 300mm lens (a dozen stops, say)? Or is it like . . . 50 stops?

I really wish that how-to was navigable..
posted by cowbellemoo at 11:35 AM on January 2, 2008


I tried to photograph the sun but it burned out my retinas.

Thanks, internet.
posted by LordSludge at 11:36 AM on January 2, 2008


I like the sun ... sure, sure, I know that one day, what is the estimate now, 6 or 7 billion years I think, it will give up the ghost and vaporise our planet, but really, until then, I'm pretty much OK with it.
posted by Relay at 11:37 AM on January 2, 2008


Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of the burning demon in the sky? Not I!
posted by blue_beetle at 11:39 AM on January 2, 2008


ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE

Well, you could always go at night...
posted by DreamerFi at 11:55 AM on January 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


What I love about these amazing pics is the reminder they provide of just what's up there. I mean, in theory, most everyone has read or heard at least some level of explanation and description of the sun, a ball of gas, hydrogen fusion, sunspots, yada yada, but most of the time, it's just a really big light that comes and goes.

I found it a bit startling to remember that there's a A GIANT WRITHING SUPERHEATED BALL OF FLAMING GAS BOMBARDING US WITH COSMIC RAYS AND UV/IR/VISIBLE LIGHT THAT WILL EVENTUALLY EXPAND AND CONSUME THE INNER SOLAR SYSTEM warming my head while I pick my nose and contemplate my utterly pedestrian exisitence.
posted by jalexei at 12:25 PM on January 2, 2008


Some of those pictures of the sun look like God's belly. And he's an innie!
posted by iamkimiam at 12:35 PM on January 2, 2008


I like pi too, basicchannel.
posted by ZaneJ. at 12:51 PM on January 2, 2008


Hello, I am a lawyer from MPAA. We recently bought the exclusive rights to any copy of the image of the sun, image of the moon and image of uranus. Let me remind you that by taking illegal pictures of the sun you are both commiting a federal crime and depriving the astronomers of the funds they need to buy telescopes, hot coffee and chairs to sit on during their long lonely nights. Do you think that expensive telescopes are going to buy themselves ? Don't you know how coffee is expensive these days , look at Starbucks it's almost its weight in gold ! Who do you think is going to finance the health care they need for their fatigued eyes, Stephen Hawkings ?

So without further ado, please send $100 cash for each picture to MPAA : Motion Pictures Association of Astronomers, Milky Way, Solar System, Earth. The proceedings will be used to buy the aformentioned telescopes, coffee, chairs and eye reliefs liquids , after accounting for all the collection, representation, administration, accounting , advertisement , taxes and expenses YOU made us incur into.

Yours Sincerely,

Seewa Hatana Shole , Nigeria, Africa.
posted by elpapacito at 12:59 PM on January 2, 2008


If you're looking for some even more amazing sun images, check this site.
posted by cell divide at 1:05 PM on January 2, 2008


The sun is a mass of incandescent gas
A gigantic nuclear furnace
where hydrogen is built into helium
at a temperature of millions of degrees
posted by psmealey at 1:18 PM on January 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


...although in many of these shots, it somewhat resembles an old platform tennis ball.
posted by psmealey at 1:21 PM on January 2, 2008


Damn, these are pretty cool. I'd love to have some of these as a poster.

Here's a somewhat related post by me, containing videos of the sun.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:39 PM on January 2, 2008


When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun. So once when I was six, I did.
posted by Jpfed at 1:50 PM on January 2, 2008


Sorry guys, but I'm pretty sure that "simple gear" in this case includes at least one solar Hydrogen Alpha filter, which cuts out something like 99.99% of the light except for that at a specific wavelength about 0.7 Angstroms in width - corresponding to gas in the chromosphere at about 80,000K. Prominences are particularly errr, prominent, at this wavelength.

The orange, detailed pictures are almost certainly done with H-alpha filters, and the purple images are most likely taken through a calcium K-line filter, which shows a layer of the chromosphere slightly lower and cooler than the H-alpha one, which is interesting because it gives you some information about the magnetic fields near the surface. All will have required a telescope.

Ca-K filters retail for (UK prices) about £450, and H-alpha ones can be £1000 or more for one capable of giving this quality of image.

If you liked them - have a browse through the gallery section of the people who make them.
posted by BishopsLoveScifi at 2:44 PM on January 2, 2008


I like to just look at the sun.

Ow. It's so beautiful. Ow.


It's odd. I stopped indulging in any kind of recreational chemicals other than the pedestrian legal ones many, many years ago, but just yesterday I was standing out back of our offices here, amongst the trees, under the twisted canopy of dried vines that shelters the picnic tables, and my mind went wahaaaaa. It was maybe 3 or 4 degrees Celsius in the shade, but the sky was unblemished blue, and standing in the slanting wedges of sunlight that cut through the tree trunks, it was pleasantly warm. Even at my advanced age, I was struck with a sense of wonder that reminded me of the opening of the internal vistas of childhood when I was first learning about the world -- that fire is 93 million miles away, and it's too bright to look at, but it warmed my back as I stood there and shivered a bit.

It was just this little awestruck moment that took me out of myself, but damn, those moments make life worth living for me sometimes.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:59 PM on January 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Haha! We made Lord Sludge go blind! Now we can make fun of him, as he can't see this insulting text!
posted by Mister_A at 6:34 PM on January 2, 2008


That's hot.
posted by redteam at 7:22 PM on January 2, 2008


Wow, this guy is using the blink tag. 1337!
posted by autodidact at 7:47 PM on January 2, 2008


Ca-K filters retail for (UK prices) about £450, and H-alpha ones can be £1000 or more for one capable of giving this quality of image.

Nowai! Can't I just...ya know...photograph through a tube of maple syrup? Or steal a sunglasses kiosk and tape all the lenses together?
posted by cowbellemoo at 8:06 PM on January 2, 2008


there's a A GIANT WRITHING SUPERHEATED BALL OF FLAMING GAS BOMBARDING US WITH COSMIC RAYS AND UV/IR/VISIBLE LIGHT THAT WILL EVENTUALLY EXPAND AND CONSUME THE INNER SOLAR SYSTEM

IM IN UR SOL R SYSTEM BOMBARDING UR EARTH!
posted by bwg at 12:27 AM on January 3, 2008


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