A Solar Telescope that has been built for Imaging is also an ideal scope for Visual use.
By choosing Visual and Imaging we will only provide future decisions that will support both options. Lunt will help you design a Solar Telescope that will provide and excellent Visual experience while also taking into account the need for Imaging.
Lunt products were used to by NASA to image the 2017 USA Eclipse from Carbondale. Lunt standard products have also been used in the past by NASA for the transit of Venus and Mercury, and by National Geographic for the Easter Island Eclipse. All of which were very successful live streaming events. Our products are ideally suited to imaging due to the ability get full disk images, rapid Doppler tuning, and ease of CCD adaptation to our systems.
A special note for imagers:
H-alpha is a very narrow emission line centered at 656.28nm. This narrow wavelength is found in the red area of the visible spectrum.
The Solar Telescope transmits ONLY this small portion of the spectrum. It transmits no Blue or Green.
The most ideal imaging system is a MONOCHROME camera or webcam.
DSLRs and Color webcams have significant drawbacks when it comes to imaging monochromatic light.
The chip of the color camera contains sensors that are designed to capture light in the Green, Blue and Red. Due to these sensors being very sensitive to the Red portion of the spectrum they only utilize 1 sensor for every 3 sensors in the Blue and Green. It should also be noted that these chips also have a Red/IR blocking filter placed over the Sensors to reduce the Red sensitivity of the Camera making it easier to control exposure settings. This Red cutoff filter typically starts slightly below the 656nm line and significantly reduces the performance of the imaging system.
Because only one 1 sensor in 4 are actually sensitive to the Red, the camera is actually only using 1/4th of its CCD. Significantly reducing resolution.
Software within the camera system also uses color balancing of all 4 sensors. The net result is that the red sensor will be “balanced” against the other sensors that received no light. Further reducing the image quality. The simple answer is that the software has no idea how red the reds are because it has no other point of reference. This typically creates washed out and muddy red images that require significant retouch and post-processing.
Monochrome cameras are not only ideal, they are simpler to use and are relatively cheap. Monochrome cameras utilize all sensors as a photon dump and are excellent at defining contrast. The resultant image can be colorized by a simple method of turning the darker shades of grey to red and the mid shades to a lighter more orange hue. Some images even create a color pallet that includes yellow.
Lunt uses a Monochrome Camera System in all our live feeds (including NASA Eclipse). We do not stack. We simply colorize and re-size in real time prior to broadcast.