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Question on Solar Observing

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I have a 80mm refractor, and a home made filter that I made out of some Thousand Oaks solar film and a styrofoam frame that I cut to fit the objective end of the scope. It is always interesting to see sunpots in white light. My question is this, is there a color or other filter that I can screw into the eyepiece, which will help see other details, like prominences or would that require a completely different scope like a Corando?

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In a word yes you need a dedicated HA solar scope or Quark eyepiece, you can get better white light surface detail with a solar wedge and coloured filters.

Dave

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14 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

In a word yes you need a dedicated HA solar scope or Quark eyepiece, you can get better white light surface detail with a solar wedge and coloured filters.

Dave

I looked up the price of Quark eyepieces; expensive little beasts. A dedicated HA scope would be half the price. What is a solar wedge? I looked online and I see they are some sort of diagonal? What color filter could be used on my existing setup to improve the definition of the sunspots, or would I need a solar wedge also?

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The wedge as you say is a diagonal, it's used instead of the solar film, doubt if filters will help using film but using a wedge and something like a green solar continuum filter brings out the surface detail but not proms.

I presume this on your refractor ?

Dave

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1 hour ago, Davey-T said:

The wedge as you say is a diagonal, it's used instead of the solar film, doubt if filters will help using film but using a wedge and something like a green solar continuum filter brings out the surface detail but not proms.

I presume this on your refractor ?

Dave

Yes I use my 80mm refractor for solar stuff.

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As Dave says, a Wedge can show more detail, particularly at higher powers and on fine detailand granulation. The continuum filter works well with a wedge to bring out the detail, faculae show up more clearly with this filter. You could also try an OIII filter if you have one, they do quite a good job.

Ha gets expensive.a basic PST you might get for £400 or so, but they get expensive quickly above this. The beauty of a Quark is that it would give you an 80mm Ha scope for a lot less than the cost of a dedicated 80mm Ha scope.

Out of interest, which scope do you have?

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28 minutes ago, Stu said:

As Dave says, a Wedge can show more detail, particularly at higher powers and on fine detailand granulation. The continuum filter works well with a wedge to bring out the detail, faculae show up more clearly with this filter. You could also try an OIII filter if you have one, they do quite a good job.

Ha gets expensive.a basic PST you might get for £400 or so, but they get expensive quickly above this. The beauty of a Quark is that it would give you an 80mm Ha scope for a lot less than the cost of a dedicated 80mm Ha scope.

Out of interest, which scope do you have?

I use just a wide field Orion GoScope 80mm for solar stuff, I put a solar filter over the objective for looking at sunspots etc. Cheapish scope for this type of work I guess. I could use my Dob, but that would be a heck of a big solar filter needed.

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Often somewhere between 80 and 120mm is optimum for solar anyway, throwing more aperture at it doesn’t always help given the wobbly seeing you often get during a hot day.

Your scope is a fast achromatic, so will show Chromatic Aberration and Spherical Aberration. Both of these can rob the view of detail, particularly SA. Using a Filter, even just a good green filter may help sharpen the view a little by reducing the CA.

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I used a Wedge on an 80mm scope. The views were lovely😁. That little wedge is probably my top  😁 / ££ Astro purchase.

If you want to try Ha. Then a second hand Coronado PST for about £400 is a good value option. Ha isn’t cheap !!!

Paul

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I started out on H-alpha viewing with a second-hand Lunt LS35THa, and much later upgraded to a 60mm Coronado. The detail seen in the latter are clearly better, but the combination of a Quark (or Quark-like in my case) filter and an 80mm is quite amazing, as shown in this comparison shot

Suncomparisoncolour.jpg

(Click for full scale, no points for guessing which is which)

The LS35 shows about the same detail as a Coronado PST, the 80mm gives an impression of the detail an 80mm with Quark could do (under good conditions, I should add.

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Wedges give improved contrast and detail. If you don’t want to purchase a wedge A wratten 58 dark green filter is said to give an improvement in white light and if you want to spend a little more you could use a continuum filter. 

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