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Chiz

Solar observing - how to get started

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Last November I treated myself to a Skywatcher 150PL. It has given me many frozen nights of fun observing, but now the nights are so short I need some brighter targets to keep me occupied.

The moon is good, and available a lot of the time, but I really want to see what the sun has to offer. I've got the scope and a couple of extra EPs, but what else do I need?

OK, so I know the first thing I need is the knowledge that the sun is very bright, and mightily powerful and I need to be VERY careful. If not then there's a good chance I'll set fire to the scope and blind myself.

Some Baader AstroSolar Safety Film looks like a good buy. But how to attach it to the open end of the scope (safely, securely and easily)?

When that problem is solved, what about filters? Should I just start with no filters and see what I can see, or is there a "must have" that I need to start with?

Any advice, tips and recommendations welcomed.

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Hi Chiz

You can always contruct your own solar filter, there are plenty of sites on the web that show you how, here's an example.

How To Build a Solar Filter - The Galactic Fool

Alternatively you can buy one, Scopesnskies sell one made by AE, I'm thinking of picking one of these up myself, here's the link.

Astro Engineering Sol-Vu safe solar observing filters for most telescopes

I have a homemade filter and there is no other filter that is required as the Baader film is a white light filter showing sunspots. You might like to add a colour filter to give the sun a yellow appearance, if that's what you want.

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I recently purchased a little refractor with a solar filter, been meaning to give it a try, thanks for the info here. Its very helpful

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CGolder. I hope the filter you mentioned is a proper, objective end solar filter and not the small eyepiece filter that used to be supplied with small refractors. If it is the latter, DONT use it on the Sun, they can crack with the concentrated heat!

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Hello Peter,

It is a proper end of scope filter, just fits on the end of the refractor, I have heard some pretty harsh warnings about eyepiece filters and judging by your post rightly so.

Thanks for your concern :)

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I have had glass filters and Baader Solar Filter, I like the Baader better, got mine from Green Witch for about £15 with SPA discount.

I have since made lots of filters for my scopes, a bino filter and a filter for my DSLR.

I also use a Baader Solar Continuum filter, which is a green type filter and managed to now get granulation in my images using a DMK CCD camera.

Daniel

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A solar filter came with My ETX so im going to give it a go and it will asle enable me to get more familiar wih the scope in the daylight

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Baader Solar flim is good. If you have a look at the Baader website they have a guide on constucting a filter cell for attaching to the objective lens of your scope, Don't use any of the eyepiece filters as they can crack and be dangerous to your eyes.

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