Are you an amateur of solar observations? Do you have equipment suitable for safe solar observations? Are you interested in solar astrophotography and image processing techniques? Are you amazed by majestic power of solar flares and eruptions? Do you want to contribute to the database of amateur observations dedicated solely to these explosive phenomena in solar atmosphere? If you answered “yes” to at least some of these questions, participate in F-HUNTERS observation campaign and start your hunt for flares today!

How to join F-HUNTERS?

1. Learn more about the Sun

1. Learn more about the Sun

Sun, despite being our nearest star, is still poorly understood in some areas. Understanding the physics of solar flares is a difficult task. F-Chroma scientists have prepared a lot of useful materials about the Sun, including guide to the Sun, colourful presentations, and a brief section describing observational aspects of solar flares.

2. Read our tutorials

There are many schools of material capture and processing in astrophotography. Each observer has his own habits and methods. To unificate the data sent by many observers from entire Europe, we wrote extended Flare Hunter's observing guide, including important guidelines for observers, as well as detailed tutorials for astrophotographers using planetary cameras and DSLR cameras. Note, that scientific data require slightly different approach than amateur pictures. Beginners and visual observers will also find some introductory articles.
Read our tutorials
Subscribe to our newsletter

3. Subscribe to our Observation Notices

We kindly ask everyone who wants to participate to subscribe to our observation notices newsletter. We are going to send mostly observing requests depending on current solar activity. Important updates and information about the observing action will also be sent. Your e-mail addres will not be used for any other purpose, nor shared with other institutions.

Subscribe now! >>>

4. Check the observation target

Every day during the campaign, the target of observations will be set, usually an active region number. All telescopes on Earth and from orbit will stare at this spot waiting for solar flare. If you have trouble localizing the target by its number, some near real time images can be found in our synoptic section.

Check synoptic information

Prepare your telescope & observe!

5. Prepare your telescope & observe!

Adjust the clock and make an observation sequence with imaging cadence ideally between 10 and 20 seconds. You probably need to read our tutorials in Observer's Guide to gather the data properly. If you can do this, align your camera correctly so the upper border of your frame is roughly towards the equatorial north. Do not forget to take darkframes and (if possible) flatfields before your camera/laptop battery is dead!

6. Caught something interesting?

Have you noticed anything interesting in your observations, such as solar flare or prominence eruption? If you have a piece of data that matches our wishlist then we need it badly! You can check your observation with other available sources (such as GOES lightcurve).
Caught something interesting?
Process your data

7. Process your data

You are the person that best knows your equipment set. This is why we leave the difficult task of image processing to you. Please process your data carefully, possibly without adding any digital enhancements other than standard image reduction (read our Observer's Guide). We would be thankful for images in full bit depth (not reduced to 8 bit) and with no compression applied (except ZIP or other archive). FITS and TIFF are the most common formats.

8. Compress and upload the results

Sequences of high-quality images take lots of space, even after ZIP compression. We concluded that the simplest way to send such big files is to upload it to an FTP server or one of many sites that offer free upload and provide us with the link.
Compress and upload the results
Send us your observations

9. Send us your observations

After you completed all above steps, which is a difficult task to do, you can finally send us the link to your uploaded data. You can use the big blue button below. Please take care to fill all the fields properly, provide us with correct time and download link. Thank you!

Submit observations >>>

After the submission, we are going to download it to our local server as quickly as possible. You will be notified via e-mail when the file is downloaded. The online copy is not neccesary afterwards.

Do you still have questions? Go to our contact page.

prepared by Dominik Gronkiewicz