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Buzzard75

Prepping for 2024

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Buzzard75    92

I was blessed to live in the US within a few hours driving distance of the path of totality for the eclipse last year. The next total eclipse visible in the US happens to be going right over top of my parents house so I'll be traveling for that one as well. Having seen the last one through both white light filters, PST's, telescopes with H-alpha filters, and a regional science centers observatory scope (it was rather impressive), I decided I want to get a setup squared away for the next one. First off, I have a 12" dob with an off-axis white light filter, but I would also like to do some H-alpha observation to be able to see the chromosphere and prominences as well. White light is all well and good if there's some sunspot activity going on at the same time, but otherwise it's just going to show the moon as it passes across the sun which isn't super dramatic. Some of my family and friends have never been fortunate enough to be able to see an eclipse or even observe the sun for themselves and I want to show them as much as I can. Secondly, I need a bit of an education in solar filters and equipment.

First question, is it even possible for me to do solar H-alpha observation of the chromosphere and prominences with a dob? If so, what do I need? I've been searching and reading and, if I'm understanding it correctly, I would need an energy rejection filter (ERF) and a H-alpha filter like a DayStar Quark. Is that really all I would need? If it's not possible, why? What's so different about a dob from any other telescope that prevents you from using it for H-alpha?

Thanks in advance!

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Davenn    62
12 hours ago, Buzzard75 said:

First question, is it even possible for me to do solar H-alpha observation of the chromosphere and prominences with a dob?

yes of course, I will assume your dob may not be motor driven, so you will be constantly adjusting position to keep the sun in view

 

12 hours ago, Buzzard75 said:

If so, what do I need? I've been searching and reading and, if I'm understanding it correctly, I would need an energy rejection filter (ERF) and a H-alpha filter like a DayStar Quark. Is that really all I would need?

 

firstly, you don't need a 12" aperture, the sun is a "freakin bright " object, so chasing those elusive photons isn't an issue  :icon_biggrin:

I would be stopping down the aperture to a max of around 4" (100mm) and an ERF will be needed,  if you stop to 80mm or less, you wont need an ERF.

Daystar state clearly in their paperwork that 80mm aperture is the absolute max without an ERF

I use a Quark on my Canon 100-400mm zoom which is 80mm aperture and works well with the  Quark

Yup, the daystar Quark goes into the eyepiece holder and you eyepiece in the other end

 

Dave

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Stu    15,849
17 minutes ago, Davenn said:

yes of course, I will assume your dob may not be motor driven, so you will be constantly adjusting position to keep the sun in view

 

 

firstly, you don't need a 12" aperture, the sun is a "freakin bright " object, so chasing those elusive photons isn't an issue  :icon_biggrin:

I would be stopping down the aperture to a max of around 4" (100mm) and an ERF will be needed,  if you stop to 80mm or less, you wont need an ERF.

Daystar state clearly in their paperwork that 80mm aperture is the absolute max without an ERF

I use a Quark on my Canon 100-400mm zoom which is 80mm aperture and works well with the  Quark

Yup, the daystar Quark goes into the eyepiece holder and you eyepiece in the other end

 

Dave

Dave, this advice isn't correct so please be careful.

Although it may be possible to use a Quark with a dob, it's not something I've heard of. At very least, if attempting it a full aperture or sub aperture ERF must be used otherwise the secondary mirror is likely to get fried, same principle as an SCT. The 80mm limit will only apply to refractors.

Buzzard, if using a Quark, I would get yourself a refractor, its a lot easier and likely to give you a better result than trying with the dob. Do plenty of reaearch beforehand so you understand how they should be used.

 

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Buzzard75    92

Thanks guys. My dob is a GoTo so it should be able to track with minimal corrections. I would definitely stop down the aperture with an off-axis ERF. I can't say I've ever seen or heard of anyone doing H-alpha with a dob before myself either, which is why I was asking before I even started going down that road. DayStar Quarks certainly aren't cheap though and I figure by the time I spend the money on one of those and an off-axis ERF, I could probably buy a dedicated solar scope. Just not sure I want to have more telescopes sitting around that serve a specific purpose. Maybe a refractor would be a better option and then I could potentially use it for some astrophotography work as well. Something to think about I guess.

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Pete Presland    7,890

With the Solar minimum already showing it effects on the Sun, also likely to get quiter as well. It maybe a good time to watch the 2nd hand market, as people become a little bored with all things Solar. You might be lucky and pick up a PST for around £400 maybe, depending on whether you want a dedicated Solar scope. 

An 80-100mm refractor + Baader safety film would be less than half that price, depending on the quality of the OTA. You have plenty of time, so do plenty of research and think long term not just this one event.

Edited by Pete Presland
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