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How do I find the Sun?


MorningMajor

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Well, OK, I know where it is in the sky!

But, I bought a Baader solar filter for my scope which arrived today (great service as ever FLO) and rushed out into a glorious sunny evening when I got home to try it out, but what tips are there to actually getting it aligned in the scope - obviously I covered my telrad and red dot finder, so couldn't use them, but it took me ages slowly slewing around the sun's general are before lickily stumbling across it - had wonderful views of quite a few sunspots which was excellent before our rather large garden hedge got in the way.

So I'm sure there must be some obvious tips in lining it up a lot quicker than I did - so please make me feel like an idiot and enlighten me!

:)

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You just slew the 'scope around while checking its shadow on the ground until it's as small as you can get it. Then you put a low power eyepiece in and the sun should be in the FoV (or very close) if you've done it correctly :)

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Yup, the "minimizing the shadow" approach has always worked for me. I put in a 32mm ep, then move the scope by hand until the shadow of the OTA is as close to circular as possible, at which point the sun is easily in the field of view.

James

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for that Al - in fact I kind of stumbled across that method a couple of evenings ago though didn't think about making the marks - doh! - so good advice.

My nexstar will track the sun, in the alignment menu, under solar objects, you can select the sun, though by default it's turned off for safety's sake - you have to go to the main menu to enable it - not sure if it's the same with the skymax though

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Had the scope out this afternoon perfectly aligned on the sun - then aligned one of the threads of the filter so that the shadow was on the base of my Telrad (with the optics covered) - drew the outline of the screw onto the Telrad and voila! - perfect - thanks again Al

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Had the scope out this afternoon perfectly aligned on the sun - then aligned one of the threads of the filter so that the shadow was on the base of my Telrad (with the optics covered) - drew the outline of the screw onto the Telrad and voila! - perfect - thanks again Al

Excellent - glad somebody found it useful.

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As well as using the 'minimise the shadow' technique, i also found that leaving my dust cap in the focuser (it's one of those opaque plastic type) meant that when it was lined up I have a small unmagnified picture of the sun that is projected onto the inside of the dust cap which allows me to completely center it before putting an eyepiece in.

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Thats fine apart from when you are settng up for projection, get distracted (by the wife, the cat, the kettle) come back and find the dust cap about to melt. Been there, done that, felt a right plonker.

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Thats fine apart from when you are settng up for projection, get distracted (by the wife, the cat, the kettle) come back and find the dust cap about to melt. Been there, done that, felt a right plonker.

It's fine if you already have the solar film on the front of the scope as I do :)

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