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Solar newbie and nervous about it.


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Hi. I am an optimist and I'm working  - perhaps naively - on the assumption that one day the skies over Britain will clear and the sun will shine. I intend to try my first solar observations and would love any tips. I'm aware of not lining up the scope prior to putting the filter on and covering up the guidescope. My real question is I intend to use an Astrozap Baader Solar 5 objective filter and also a Svbony  UV/IR 1.25" eyepiece filter on a Celestron  Nexstar 4SE  Mak. Does this sound a safe setup?

Cheers.

 

Edited by martin77
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Yes. Your setup should be absolutely safe. Not at all necessary but you might think of using (even fashioning yourself) a solar finder. It can come as a surprise that aligning on the Sun isn’t as simple as it sounds.

Have fun and enjoy the bright side. 🙂😎

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2 minutes ago, Floater said:

Yes. Your setup should be absolutely safe. Not at all necessary but you might think of using (even fashioning yourself) a solar finder. It can come as a surprise that aligning on the Sun isn’t as simple as it sounds.

Have fun and enjoy the bright side. 🙂😎

I certainly found finding the sun difficult and got a solar finder - it's much safer too.

Once I got a Solarquest mount that finds and tracks the sun though I sold it on.

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Agree with the above, just make sure the filter is properly secure before looking through the eyepiece.

You can roughly align the scope by watching its shadow. When the shadow is smallest, the scope should be aligned (approximately, at least).

A solarquest mount is a great thing for small telescopes, not sure what the weight limit is on it.

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13 minutes ago, Roy Challen said:

You can roughly align the scope by watching its shadow. When the shadow is smallest, the scope should be aligned (approximately, at least).

This is the technique I used on several scopes and it works fine.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Floater said:

Yes. Your setup should be absolutely safe. Not at all necessary but you might think of using (even fashioning yourself) a solar finder. It can come as a surprise that aligning on the Sun isn’t as simple as it sounds.

Have fun and enjoy the bright side. 🙂😎

Thanks Red Dwarf -  looking at your number of posts I reckon you probably know more than me so that's good enough for me. 👍

Edited by martin77
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34 minutes ago, Roy Challen said:

Agree with the above, just make sure the filter is properly secure before looking through the eyepiece.

You can roughly align the scope by watching its shadow. When the shadow is smallest, the scope should be aligned (approximately, at least).

A solarquest mount is a great thing for small telescopes, not sure what the weight limit is on it.

Cheers Roy. Those mounts are a bit off my price range at the minute. Cheers though.

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Remember to check the solar filter before each and every use for scratches, pin pricks, rips, tears, etc. Any defect however insignificant it may seem, just bin the filter and consign to local authority land-fill site and purchase or make another. DO NOT attempt to repair it.

Also, ensure no children are near when the ‘scope is left unattended.

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2 hours ago, Roy Challen said:

A solarquest mount is a great thing for small telescopes, not sure what the weight limit is on it.

Skywatcher's UK website states 4kgs (8.8lbs) whilst their US website states 11lbs (i.e. 5kgs).

I suspect that 5kgs is the correct figure as this is what is stated for their AZGTi WiFi mount in both the UK and US.  Granted it might be slightly different internally, but this appears to be the same as the Solarquest externally.

I use my Solarquest with a 72mm f/6 ED as this gets full disk views with a Quark.  With one of my favourite 25 or 30mm Vixen NPL eyepieces this weighs approx 3.1kgs.  Even if I add my Maxbright II binoviewer plus another NPL eyepiece it comes to only 4kgs.

Edited by Second Time Around
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I agree with the advice above, always check the filter for defects at the start, personally if using a filter like that the last thing I do every time before going to the eyepiece is look at the filter and check its still there. This may sound a bit ocd but there no second chances when it comes to solar observing. Also a good point made about children (and adults!) never leave your scope unattended, anyone could look through it. 

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Hi I have been solar viewing with my VX8L  with a Kendrick filter fitted I made a solar finder from an old eyepiece case works well 

I also use my 127 refractor with a Lacerta wedge they both give a nice image 

the advice from the guys is spot on , I always double check everything can't be to careful doing white light 

a good app to have is space weather live this will give you heads up on Sun spots etc 

Edited by Neil H
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9 hours ago, Paz said:

I agree with the advice above, always check the filter for defects at the start, personally if using a filter like that the last thing I do every time before going to the eyepiece is look at the filter and check its still there. This may sound a bit ocd but there no second chances when it comes to solar observing. Also a good point made about children (and adults!) never leave your scope unattended, anyone could look through it. 

Thank Paz - doesn't sound OCD to me buddy. 👍👍👍

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There's is NO OCD in white light , it means your aware of the dangers and keep checking so you know it's right , when I set up the VX8L I polar align the mount the fit scope in the home position, then check finder scope has its covers on ,  the solar filter I check for pin holes I give it a good look over on both sides I then fit it and test it can't come off , I then goto the sun I use the shadow to get it as close as possible then move to the solar finder to line up 100% that's it really 

Take special take of the solar filter always store in its case 

Enjoy the bright side of this hobby last week we had 26 Sun spots and they changed about 4 times in 2 hours 

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The advice you have been given is totally correct. If you want a solar finder just Google svbony solar finder they sell for about £17 on eBay. The finder goes in the finder scope bracket and works brilliantly. The only improvement I made was to highlight the dart board screen with a pencil

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51 minutes ago, Neil H said:

There's is NO OCD in white light , it means your aware of the dangers and keep checking so you know it's right , when I set up the VX8L I polar align the mount the fit scope in the home position, then check finder scope has its covers on ,  the solar filter I check for pin holes I give it a good look over on both sides I then fit it and test it can't come off , I then goto the sun I use the shadow to get it as close as possible then move to the solar finder to line up 100% that's it really 

Take special take of the solar filter always store in its case 

Enjoy the bright side of this hobby last week we had 26 Sun spots and they changed about 4 times in 2 hours 

Thanks Neil. We were in period of Solar minimum I believe so its high time there were a few!!

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