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So, I am going to take my first steps into observing and hopefully imaging the sun, and get myself a filter for the telescope, just so that I have something to do, when I am working nightshifts, or the weather is bad at night. From what I can see, all I would need is a filter like this one https://www.firstlightoptics.com/solar-filters/astrozap-baader-solar-filter.html. Is that so, or is there anything else that you would highly recommend that I get, and why? My telescope is a Skywatcher 150PDS on a Celestron AVX mount.
On the same time, I am looking at buying a baader hydrogen alpha 3mm filter for imaging. Is this also something I could use for observing, or it is solely for imaging? Just curious.

Any comments, tips, advice would be very much appreciated, as I would rather not damage either my eyes, or more importantly my equipment! ;) (jk)
 

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The astrozap filter will give you 'white light' views of the sun - this means when the sun is active you'll be able to see sunspots. At the moment there's almost no white light activity as we're going through solar minimum, and things will remain quiet for the next year or two, so it's not really a great time to start. All you'd see is a big bright disc. Afraid the ha filter you've mentioned is not for solar - it's for deep sky night astronomy. You'd need to buy a dedicated solar ha scope to view the sun in ha - or a refractor with a dedicated solar ha filter - cheapest scope is the Coronado PST- but it's an expensive side to the hobby I'm afraid

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10 minutes ago, Highburymark said:

The astrozap filter will give you 'white light' views of the sun - this means when the sun is active you'll be able to see sunspots. At the moment there's almost no white light activity as we're going through solar minimum, and things will remain quiet for the next year or two, so it's not really a great time to start. All you'd see is a big bright disc. Afraid the ha filter you've mentioned is not for solar - it's for deep sky night astronomy. You'd need to buy a dedicated solar ha scope to view the sun in ha - or a refractor with a dedicated solar ha filter - cheapest scope is the Coronado PST- but it's an expensive side to the hobby I'm afraid

Ahh right, we are literally in the middle of a solar minimum, right? How unfortunate ;) Might still buy one, just to add to my collection, and getting used to that side of it. Yeah, even a scope like that is at quite a cost, for something that isn't going to be my main occupation. 
Thanks a lot for the answer, as that helps level expectations with reality! :D

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Maybe I understand you wrong, but please donot use a NB H-alpha filter for solar imaging. Your eyes are far more important then your equipment!!!
For H-alpha solar imaging you need filters in the sub ångström rate like these: https://luntsolarsystems.com/product-category/hydrogen-alpha-solar-filters/
More brands are available... The Baader solar filter is ok for white light imaging with your scope, but you are thinking about a solar wedge, which gives better results, a 150 pds is not suitable, because of the heat it will produce in the tube. Better would be a smaller refractor.  

Do your homework very well before entering the endeavour of solar imaging and observing. New equipment is only a matter of money... you cannot buy new eyes... White light imaging is not very interesting at the moment, as Highburymark already mentioned. H-alpha always is always interesting.

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5 minutes ago, Waldemar said:

Maybe I understand you wrong, but please donot use a NB H-alpha filter for solar imaging. Your eyes are far more important then your equipment!!!
For H-alpha solar imaging you need filters in the sub ångström rate like these: https://luntsolarsystems.com/product-category/hydrogen-alpha-solar-filters/
More brands are available... The Baader solar filter is ok for white light imaging with your scope, but you are thinking about a solar wedge, which gives better results, a 150 pds is not suitable, because of the heat it will produce in the tube. Better would be a smaller refractor.  

Do your homework very well before entering the endeavour of solar imaging and observing. New equipment is only a matter of money... you cannot buy new eyes... White light imaging is not very interesting at the moment, as Highburymark already mentioned. H-alpha always is always interesting.

Of course I value my eyes a thousandfold over my equipment, hence the "joking" part! ;)
And that is why I am here, and on several other sites asking for advice, instead of just plunging into it, as I know how dangerous doing it the wrong way can be.

Is the 150 pds, not suitable, or simply not recommended for the practice? As I am hesitant of wanting to cash out for a new scope, to only observe the sun. I know that I would not be spending nearly as much time on this, as deep-sky astrophotography.

Thanks for the input! :) 

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6 minutes ago, The-MathMog said:

Is the 150 pds, not suitable, or simply not recommended for the practice

With a full aperture solar filter on the front there is no reason not to use the 150pds for white light solar visual and imaging.

I think the message was, don’t use the H Alpha filter you linking to for solar viewing or imaging as it is just for deep sky imaging. An H Alpha solar scope or Quark are the options for viewing prominences, filaments and other H Alpha features.

Also, a Herschel Wedge is another option for white light solar viewing but can only be used in a refractor, not a Newtonian. The Baader Solar Film is the best option for you, make sure you buy the visual version if you are planning on observing as well as imaging.

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You can use the 150PDS for white light with a front filter like the Baader Solar film, but not with a wedge, because that is used on the eyepiece side, so the focused sunlight will create too much heat in the tube and burn your secondary mirror. A wedge is only used with refractors for the mentioned reason.

Solar observing is a very nice hobby and far more interesting then most people think. It is the only star we can observe from this 'close', and even in a solar minimum fase, lots of things are happening, not very visible with a white light filter, though

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As per what @Stu said above.

For a solar wedge you do need refractor. Below is my "white light" solar setup/rig. 

IMG_0675.thumb.JPG.61d0def85db3d5e798128ef6d95d020b.JPG

I do have a Thousand Oaks - Type 2 glass full aperture solar filter for my refractor. It is showing minor pin-pricks now on the metallic coatings, (it is 20 years young), and I will not use it now. All solar filters that are attached to the front of an OTA need to be checked before use, irrespective of what materials they are made from

Should you buy a refractor and a solar wedge at a later date, some brands of solar wedge do not include a ND3.0 filter.  

 

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