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Eclipse shades - what can you see?


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I just got some eclipse shades. I'm going to be away from home for the Venus transit and fancied something I might see a small black dot with in the unlikely event of it being clear. I thought about binoculars and solar film, but decided against it.

Just wondering - can you see anything else with these things? Just been looking at the Sun and it looks like a featureless orange disk no spots or anything as far as I can see.

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Eclipse glasses are really design for solar eclipse by the moon. The angular size of Venus during the transit is pretty much the same as during the night in the last few weeks. If you eyesight is good enough to see Venus as a crescent unaided then you should be able to see the disk of Venus against the sun, else it will be a black dot.

I suggest making a pair of solar filters for your binocular using baader film.

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I used solar projection to view the last transit of Venus in 2004. The planetary silhouette was very clearly defined against the solar disk during the whole transit. The disk was around the size of a medium sized sunspot but much more clearly defined.

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I think a quality solar filter and binos will be worth it. You will see sun spots then and also the disk of Venus when it transits. The sun is quite active right now, so you'll see sun spots come and go if you follow them over a period of days. You usually won't see sun spots naked eye, since they're rather small compared to the angular size of the sun.

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James forgive me for stating the obvious, but please don't be tempted to view the sun using a combination of those eclipse glasses and binos together. I would rather be seen as patronizing than later read that someone has damaged there eyes, be it you or any other person (including youngsters) who might be reading this thread. :(

James

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The sun had relatively few and small spots on it today anyway.

What about 'reverse projecting' the image with binoculars? I recall doing it for the eclipse, where you can point the eyepiece at the sun and the objective at a bit of paper and look at it that way.

Edited by David JM
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James forgive me for stating the obvious, but please don't be tempted to view the sun using a combination of those eclipse glasses and binos together. I would rather be seen as patronizing than later read that someone has damaged there eyes, be it you or any other person (including youngsters) who might be reading this thread. :(

James

Thank you. Glad to see you moderators are on the ball. The glasses have that warning on them, but it doesn't hurt to repeat that kind of thing.

Perhaps projection is the way ahead. I think I might do that David.

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Wow! That was cool. Just cut a hole in some cardboard, stuck one of the binocular objectives through and was projecting on a piece of paper. Reckon I could see sunspot 1486. While I was watching a jet plane went across the solar disk leaving a contrail behind!! Only problem with the set up is I can't hold the binoculars steady. Thinking about taking a tripod now.

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Just tested with the binoculars on tripod with objective poking through cardboard and a bit of white paper behind. Surprisingly effective and vastly better than the glasses. I could see the little grouping of 3 spots near 1486 and the 1490 and 1492 groupings (Sunspots). I'm going to have to go eclipse chasing now, so my investment in glasses isn't wasted :(

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