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Andrew*

solar observing

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Having embarked on solar observing recently, two questions have arisen:

1. What's the best way of centering the sun in your eyepiece? Using the scope's shadow is good, but not hugely accurate.

2. I have a solar filter on the tube cover (aperture = 50mm) of my newt that I use to observe the sun, but will I get a lot more detail using a full aperture (~200mm) filter?

thanks,

Andrew

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What's the best way of centering the sun in your eyepiece

Cut a piece of card 5" by 1"

Bend up both ends at 1" marks so you end up with a "u" shape with 1"by 1" square

bent up at each end.

Poke a small hole dead centre in one of the 1" by 1" bits and make a mark at the centre

point of the other square.

Stick the device onto and inline with your OTA with the hole end pointing to the sun.

When the sunlight through the hole hits the mark at the other end, your on target.

Might need an initial tweak :rolleyes:

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Riiiight!! Thanks. I was thinking of a way of making something just like that (I saw one on sale for quite a mighty price, considering what it was)

I just don't have the practical skills to think it up!

Andrew

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I dont think you will gain any extra contrast by having a larger apeture.

Maybe a Solar continuim filter is the way to go ?

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I have sometimes taken the cap off the finder, manoeuvred the scope until the finder ep lights up, then put the cap back on the finder. If I need any more adjustment, I can use the slow motion controls.

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I have sometimes taken the cap off the finder, manoeuvred the scope until the finder ep lights up,

What do you think of that, Jamie? :insects1:

Andrew

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I have sometimes taken the cap off the finder, manoeuvred the scope until the finder ep lights up,

What do you think of that, Jamie? :insects1:

Andrew

That's the exact method I use, too. As long as you do it quickly and remember to put the cover back on the finder, it works great.

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remember to put the cover back on the finder

Very important bit of info there.

THE FRONT COVER! NOT THE BACK COVER! :insects1:

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Andrew

Experienced Solar astronomers like Astroman use this type of technique.

Unless you have some experience in doing this sort of thing i would recommend not to.

When i say experience i don't mean having winged it a couple of times and got away with it

i mean had some form of tuition in Solar observing and had some proper tips as to what not to do.

I know that i was a bit short with you in my last post but if it makes you stop and think before you do any damage to your self then it will have been well served...

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Harshness aside, Jamie's concern is good advice. When observing the Sun, safety is numbers 1-10. Number 11 is, "Place your hand over the EP to see if it's too bright to use your eye." In other words, another safety tip. Do observe the Sun, respecting its power, and it will deliver many years of amazement.

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And,of course,we can play it really safe and project the Sun onto a screen inside a box,as I do.

For the uninitiated,solar projection means using simple eyepieces (Huygenians and Ramsdens,etc) that don't have cemented lens elements. The Sun's heat would cause the cement to melt,ruining the eyepiece.

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My Baader AstroSolar filter (A4 sheet) arrived yesterday from SCS Astro. I am now thinking of making a Sun "finder" by removing the existing finder and replacing it with a cardboard tube whose front surface is card-and-pinhole and whose back surface is greaseproof paper. The filter for the 4.5" Newt will be made from two cardboard rings sandwiching the filter. I will probably add velcro straps to secure the filter on the tube. Any leftovers can go to make a camera filter and to modify cardboard "3D glasses" for eclipse viewing.

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Hi. I've never viewed the Sun but feel tempted to do it. I know about the Coronado PST which is expensive. Meanwhile Baader solar film is very affordable.

I wonder what is the difference between viewing the Sun through a PST and through a telescope with a home-made sunfilter from the Baader film. On astro forums I've seen some people say that they see not much more than a white disk through Baader film. While others say that through the PST the Sun shows lots of details. So is it that through Baader film we can see some details around the fringe of the Sun and sunspots but nothing else on the surface of it?

Someone can tell?

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The PST has a hydrogen alpha filter which allows you to see promiences and surface detail. The white light filters (film) only shows the disc and sun spots. You get a lot more detail with a Ha filter (hence the cost!)

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Not to mention that there's not much to see on the Sun at the moment, anyway. Solar minimum is upon us, and it may take some time to "act up" again.

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