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Astrofest - a solar imagers view


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I made a return trip to Astrofest yesterday, just to see what was new or drool over the solar scopes. The most impressive bit of kit there was the new Lunt 50, several dealers had them on their stands.

A Lunt 60 it isn't, it is far smaller, even the pressure tuner is about 2/3rds the size, it is shorter than a PST and may be even a Lunt 35. For entry level I couldn't think of a nicer scope and it would just about fit in a camera bag (handbag Alexandra) if you wanted to take it on hols. I quite fancy one myself to go with the other scope I fancy.

Next up was a Lunt 80, these are about the same diameter as a Lunt 60, but are a good deal longer. Interesting they have a dew/sun shield (can't see what the point is, it might keep the rain off the lens), but dew or shadows isn't really a problem.

Holding a Lunt 80 in one hand and a Lunt 60 in the other, it wasn't noticeable heavier and when the DS options are added the difference narrows even further, so this is top of my 'want list'. I doubt it will fit in hand luggage very well, so may be it should come with a Lunt 50 as well for when the 80 is too big?

I bought a Rev Astro 0.5x focal reducer at a reasonable discount, I need a second for the upcoming public viewing of the eclipse and three solar views again for the eclipse.

Then it was off to Greenwich, by river cruiser, to see the hourly time signal and a look round the museum, telescopes and gallery. I went there in the 1980s, but didn't go in, I think it was closed so it was really good to see the scopes, but the most interesting objects were John Harrison's clocks, he was an amazing man, brilliant engineer who solved the problem of keeping time at sea. His clocks are works of art.

The museum sold small brass sextants (very tempted) and another little brass model of something which looks like it measures sun angle as well as pocket watches modelled on JH's model 4. These are little works of art as well, so I bought one as a reminder of the place and the man.

Then a quick look round the astro centre, Alexandra's two solar Ha pictures are still on display from the 2014 competition, two fantastic images, a look round the Cutty Sark and maritime museum, both really good (but then I am a sailor for fun) before heading back to Heathrow.


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Sounds like you had a great day out. Just need another mortgage now for all that kit you have been drooling over!

Have to admit I am considering a Lunt 50 as an upgrade from my PST. Being as they are rare as hens teeth I guess I don't need to rush the decision!

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