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Thread: Why aren't Solar Astronomers and Imagers appreaciated more?

  1. #1
    Ben Cartwright SASS's Avatar
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    Default Why aren't Solar Astronomers and Imagers appreaciated more?



    I have noticed that it seems that people into deep space or extraterrestrials get much more "respect" than solar astronomers and imagers. At my local club it is a very small group that does solar and while people will say the occasional wow about images you really get a crowd around the DSO people. Is it because anyone can do DSO but it is a special breed that does solar?
    They will say we track asteroids that can kill people if one hits, well the odds of that in my mind is less of a threat than another Carrington event that could happen at any time and there is nothing we can do about it and would wipe out civilization as we know it and well kill a majority of the population through starvation and disease. How? By disrupting the food supply, most places on earth even the US only have a 3 day supply of food available to the masses and if trucks cannot get the food to the city's and suburbs people will starve

    Enough doom and gloom, the other thing I don't understand is why people like DSO over Solar, if I don't get a good picture of M33 this year it will be the same next year and I can try again. SOLAR, if I miss a prom today or even this hour in the case of the LOOP PROM earlier this year it will never be the same again.

    Solar astronomy deserves more respect!
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    Default Re: Why aren't Solar Astronomers and Imagers appreaciated more?

    I'm not sure "respect" is the right word, as least from the general membership and DSO imaging folks. Our images get a few member's attention and comments. However, when the solar imaging was removed from the forum's astrophotography section without consulting the solar imagers (none of whom wanted it), that made a major statement in my opinion, and has definitely lead to the current demise.

    Solar imagers are, for now, lucky to have our own group where I'm now posting all my work.

    Currently the sun is in the middle of a solar minimum and the eclipse is over. Those two factors have had an effect on some interests. Most of the solar imagers are currently concentrating on close up views of proms, something that does not lend itself to the budding solar imager in terms of equipment, etc.

    Solar imaging is just as complicated as DSO imaging. We do it in the daytime and our capture times are drastically shorter. However, we shoot flats when needed, stack and adjust images, and process with the same tools as everyone else. Obviously, we don't take several imaging sessions like some of the DSO folks because our "target" is changing constantly, but that's just "life" in the solar world.

    As a pretty active solar-head, I still get (got?) a lot of positive comments from the DSO folks who understand our differences, but appreciate good work. Being ostracized from the astrophotography forum has made a huge difference in the amount of general membership attention to our work. Fortunately for the lunar imagers, they were left in the astrophotography section and can still have their work seen.

    There is a whole lot more to this can of worms than I can say here. Meanwhile, I still enjoy my many friends here, but will keep my images in the solar group going forward.
    John (Urban Astronomer)
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    Default Re: Why aren't Solar Astronomers and Imagers appreaciated more?

    Yup, I also have to concentrate on small proms, it seems to always be overcast for the large ones (maybe large proms cause clouds) and also this time of year it is a challenge with the low temps, in the single digits and teens.
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    Default Re: Why aren't Solar Astronomers and Imagers appreaciated more?

    Is it because anyone can do DSO but it is a special breed that does solar?
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    Default Re: Why aren't Solar Astronomers and Imagers appreaciated more?

    Solar images have NOT been ostracized from the AP sub forum. If solar imagers choose to post their images there instead of the solar imaging subforum, then have at it. I’ve said that before and will keep saying it if need be.

    The whole creation of the solar forums was done in GOOD FAITH to fulfill an old request. Yes, it would have been helpful to inquire if this was still a desire to create these, but that’s all a kicked over pail of milk at this point.

    To reiterate, there has been no ostracizing, there has been no intentional exclusions, there are no conspiracies to suppress or ignore solar imagers.

    Solar images are most welcome in either the AP subforum OR the solar imaging subforum. Or in the solar group. They are your images, post them where you will, or not. Folks will continue to enjoy and appreciate them where ever they land.
    Bryan

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    Default Re: Why aren't Solar Astronomers and Imagers appreaciated more?

    I think solar gets less attention simply because most astro imagers have never done it. I have no idea what solar imaging would be about. Never done it and honestly only seen a few solar pics. Maybe the other issue is just the limited nature of solar. It is after all one single object while deep space offers such a broad sky full of stars to look at?
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    Default Re: Why aren't Solar Astronomers and Imagers appreaciated more?

    Yes sky full of stars that Galileo saw, not much new under the moon ROFL.

    The sun on the other hand.... it changes hour by hour, can be a spectacular prom like the one lowjiber got and I missed because I was imaging an hour before it erupted. The only thing close is Jupiter and it changes over a period of years or Saturn's rings although again if you wait they will be back in the position you want. If you miss something on the sun it is gone forever. It is really dynamic!
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    Default Re: Why aren't Solar Astronomers and Imagers appreaciated more?

    Hey Ben, I wasn't trying to put anything you said down... just honestly not familiar with the sun. If what I said came across as disrespectful... was not my intent. Enjoy the solar viewing and plenty of things for all of us to watch in the skies

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    Default Re: Why aren't Solar Astronomers and Imagers appreaciated more?

    I think oldrockfan has it right. We're not interested in those things we don't understand. My wife is amazed that I keep going out to look at a bunch of stars. Not stars, I might reply! There are gads of quite different wonderful things there to observe and they're all different! Besides stars there are asteroids, there are comets; there are reflective, emission and dark nebulae; there are planets; there are occultations; there are quasars; and this could go on and on and on (and even simple stars come in all sorts of interesting varieties!). Even if you just take one type of object, e.g. galaxies, the variations are huge. With some you can actually see the arms; with others you can see the bar; others are edge-on showing dust lanes; others are interacting; others are ring galaxies; others host supernovae; in others you can pick out star-forming regions; and others are interesting not because of how they look but because of something special we know about them, such as it hosting Earth-like planets or it being a polar ring galaxy or it mysteriously radiating at non-visual frequencies.
    So those who haven't delved into solar viewing will see it as a single thing. Been there, done that. Why go back and see the same thing yet again? But the solar observer will understand the complexity and variation of the Sun and because of this deeper understanding will find it a much more interesting object.
    I like images of all sorts. One thing that often adds to the presentation for me is when the imager gives us a little information about the target so that we outsiders can gain slightly in our own understanding and, correspondingly, appreciation.

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    Default Re: Why aren't Solar Astronomers and Imagers appreaciated more?

    Not put down taken! It is just that the sun is so interesting.
    What other type of astronomy is so dynamic?

    We have a resource GONG H Alpha Network Monitor that shows what is happening on the sun right now, we checking it constantly to see if we have to try to get out and see the action. In DSO you can use a picture from years ago to see what M31 looks like tonight.

    The downside to solar, especially now in a solar minimum, is that it is expensive to get into Halpha to see the proms and active regions. But once you get into it you will get hooked!
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