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Hi all I don't know if I'm in the right section or not but I'm sure someone will put me straight if I'm not. I wanted to view the sun safely so I purchased a solar filter for the front of my skywatcher 130 telescope which is a f7 to observe the sun I also bought a crosshair bracket to fit on my scope so I could accurately look for the sun but I'm unsure as to what size ep to use, so far I've used a 20mm a17.5mm also a12mm and a 7.5 mm but upto now I've failed to see the sun. My crosshair is in the correct place as you can see the sun right in the middle of it and my scope is facing north so what am I doing wrong I'm sure it's something simple but I've yet to work it out .

So if there's anyone out there who can help me I'd be most grateful. Cheers Jimmy :-) :-)

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I think perhaps you just need to change your name? Jimmythesunlight should do it [emoji12]

More seriously, first off I would stick with the 20mm. This gives around x45 which should be fine.

Have you aligned your solar finder? My guess is that a combination of being out of focus and a misaligned finder are causing you to miss the sun.

One other method to try is to look at the shadow cast by the scope. When it is minimised, and the scope shadow is round, you should be pointing at the sun.

Hope that helps?

Stu

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:-) :-) hi stu thanx for the information on the change of name lol but I don't really like it anyway it's just something that I use for my email address, I think I've aligned my solar finder I've read the information on it and it says that you should be able to see the sun through crosshair which I can I think it's just a matter of being a bit more patient with my ep & hoping all will come good but once again thanx for your reply cheers Jimmy :-)

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No problem, and obviously had my tongue firmly in my cheek about the name [emoji6]

If you have a longer length eyepiece than 20 then that can be very useful as a finder. 32 or 40 perhaps?

The sun is still only small so can be easy to miss in a small field of view. As said, getting the focus in roughly the right place will also help

Good luck

Stu

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I am confused here.

The sun is big and tend to be bright.

It is at infinity so if the scope can view the moon, stars, nebula then it should focus on the sun without any bother.

Can someone explain the bits that says "and my scope is facing north"

If this is correct there is an apparently obvious reason for not seeing the sun. :eek: :eek:

But it cannot be that surely, a typo I guess but ???????? :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

L35 4QS is the Liverpool area, Rainhill (Station) isn't it, not some Australian outpost .

As said just confused.

What is meant by "I think it's just a matter of being a bit more patient with my ep & hoping all will come good" ?

Q1) Can you point the scope at the moon or the Orion Nebula and see it in focus?

Q2) Do you see the bright image of the sun but out of focus?

Q3) Can you see all of the sun in the eyepiece at once?

Q4) What do you expect to see?

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Ronin, when I put my scopes away, I normally wind the focuser back in so they fit in cases or just for safety. I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to put them back at the correct focus distance without actually focussing on something so it is not a totally trivial exercise.

The sun can be surprisingly difficult to find, despite its size, particular as with a solar scope the view is black until the sun is in view. If it is out of focus a long way then it just becomes more difficult. It is not the same as Astro observing when say the moon becomes detectable outside the FOV due to its brightness.

The North reference is, I assume, related to an EQ mount being set up correctly rather than the OP being unable to work out which direction to point the scope in......

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Jim, I appreciate that the Sun can be tricky to find, so you might need a little practice.

I've never used a Newtonian, nor a solar finder (just wheel out my fracs) but I do a little solar observing when I can and have found that the shadow technique is the most effective way of going about it.

Needless to say, take great care and be patient at all times. Never look at the Sun with your eyes or through an unfiltered scope, and don't sight align the scope by running your eye along its edge toward the Sun. All these 'tricks' are dangerous and you risk blinding yourself.

When you point a scope directly at the Sun, its shadow is at its smallest. So next time you're out, kit out your scope with all the necessary filters and just point the scope in the Sun's direction. Gradually, pateiently move the scope until you feel the shadow is the smallest it can be. Then have a peek through your lowest, wide field power eyepiece. If everything is still black, no worries, for you're almost there.

Just slightly tweak the scope in a sweeping motion while peeking through the low power eyepiece; go gentle at this stage and I'm sure you'll hit upon the Sun's limb. When you've got that, you can then align your solar finder and know that unless it is moved, in the future you can always use the finder to find the Sun :grin:

The Sun at the moment is putting on a great show and there is quite a bit of white light activity going on, so if possible spend a relaxed Sunday morning finding and aligning your gear :grin:

Please take care, take your time and you'll be right. If you encounter any more problems or if none of this has made any sense, please let me know.

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I sometimes just point the scope in the general direction, without an ep in ( note: ONLY with the solarfilm filter firmly in place!) and look down the focuser tube for the sun's disk to be reflected in the secondary as I gently move the scope, then pop a low mag back in and fine tune. Works pretty well with a bit of fishing....but obviously I stress the scope MUST be capped with solarfilm before doing this!

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I have noticed when viewing in white light how just long it can take to bring the sun into focus even when it is view :shocked:

Even after rotating the focus wheel enough times to grind wheat one could be forgiven for being fooled into thinking you are not pointing in the right direction :smiley: or is it that I should stop only using the fine focus wheel :grin:

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I agree with the above suggestions that it is most likely a focussing issue. If the scope is out of focus while trying to

locate the sun, good luck! It's surprisingly more difficult to establish how out of focus you are during the day than at night, as mentioned by Stu above. At night you can be pretty sure to point your scope anywhere skyward and see something if you have it relatively in focus. During the day, it's a different ballgame. You only have one reference point.

I do also feel that just waiting for your eyepiece to 'come good' might require a lot of patience. If you're out of focus or pointed in the wrong direction, I'm betting that your EP's 'stubbornness' will win this game :)

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I agree, the sun can be remarkably difficult to find. My coronado 60mm came with a solar finder which frankly I didn't find that useful because you pretty much had to stare into the sun to use it. I replaced it with a simple pinhole and disc system that you use by looking down at the bright dot on the screen rather than up into the sun. That's proved to be very safe and effective!

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Normally I point a scope at the sun by looking at it's shadow. When that is basically circular, you're in the right ball park. I center it up with one of those clearish translucent plugs in the EP holder of the wedge as you can see a nice clean solar disk projected through it. When the sun is dead center in the cap, you just drop an EP in.

Russell

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