Solar Observing

Ok, we have all heard the warning a million times, but I would be remiss by not echoing it once more.

DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN THROUGH ANY OPTICAL EQUIPMENT (INCLUDING YOUR NAKED EYES) WITHOUT USING ADEQUATE PROTECTION!

I am not much of a solar observer and usually don't set up for it unless I am at a star party and not doing anything else during the day. Here's the equipment I use:

The large filter on the right is a Thousand Oaks deposited metal filter that works wonderfully well for sunspot observing. On the left and in the middle are the two components for the Lumicon Solar Prominence filter. The large filter assembly contains a 70mm energy rejection filter that cuts down the amount of light entering the scope while decreasing aperture to give an f/30 light cone. The little unit in the middle goes on the back of the scope and your eyepiece fits in. It is tuned by turning a small nylon screw that tilts the filter element a bit. It works… sort of. It will show prominences very well and, under very steady skies, I have seen the "picket fence" along the edge of the solar disk. This is not a sub-angstrom filter like those sold by Daystar, but it will amaze your friends when you can show them prominences.

 

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