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Solar Safety


Astro Fan

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Hi Everybody,

I am thinking about doing some entry level visual & imaging of the the sun with a web cam but am a bit apprehensive. From everything I have read you must remove the finder scope and make sure the solar filter is absolutely secure over the front of the scope - can anybody else suggest any more safety tips on solar viewing ie can you ues a second filter at the eyepiece & does baader film have a shelf life ?

Thanks for reading

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That's about it! You could fit a piece of Baader film over the finder as well and use that to "find" the Sun.

My Baader film is over six years old and still going strong.

A light green or Baader continuum filter at the eyepiece can improve the contrast.

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Baader solar film is very tough stuff ansd will last well. There is no need for a second filter (apart from one to improve contrast). NEVER buy or use an "eyepiece solar filter" - it WILL shatter with obvious consequences.

I regularly image the Sun with both a DLSR and a webcam with no problems at all. I have a personal rule never to look at the Sun directly, with or without a scope. If there should be a problem you can always buy a new camera!

I don't want to frighten you - modern filters like the Baader are exellent and work properly and safely. I would however suggest that you make sure the filter is securely attached to your scope in such a way that it cannot, for example, blow off in a strong wind.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I took some images of the sun recently but wasn't too happy with the results.

(I'll post them up later)

Main thing was that it was difficult to get good focus as you are using live view of the DLSR and everytime you adjust focus it makes the telescope vibrate slightly. So you end up guessing somewhat and get it wrong!

Plus you still have some thermal influence and that distorts the image!

It was quite weird looking through the scope at the sun and an obvious difference in temperature on the eyes between that and surrounding air.

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