Viewing the Sun

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Viewing the Sun

Postby warsal » Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:33 pm

Today as there was a solar eclpise a question passed through my head.
What is the best way to see the Sun (considering both sun's image and price)?
Using a SolarMax telescope or using an Ha filter or a Calcium K filter?
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RE: Viewing the Sun

Postby jsc248 » Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:06 pm

Hi Warsal,
the easiest way to view the Sun is the projection method. Line a telescope up with the Sun without looking through the eyepiece, i.e. use the shadow of the scope on the floor to line it up. Then project the image onto a white card. Hope that helps.
John.
To me astronomy is looking up and thinking "What the heck is going on up there!!"
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RE: Viewing the Sun

Postby qu54856bo » Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:06 pm

On advice received from fellows on this forum I bought some Baader Astro Solar Safety Film (£13) - so far have taped some over some bins which gave excellent views of the eclipse today. Enough left (A4 sheet) to make a telescope filter, SLR filter and some cardboard glasses.

Not much of a techie so cannot comment on the advantages of other types of filter but v pleased with this solar film.

regards
Simon
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RE: Viewing the Sun

Postby gammalog » Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:23 pm

Hi Warren

It really depends on what you actually want to see. If its an eclipse or Sun Spots, the the projection method that John describes, is adequate and inexpensive.

As I understand it, and I'm no expert in solar viewing/imaging, if you want to view both of the above, plus some surface granulation, then Baader Solar film is an economical way of doing this. Bearing in mind that it is just Mylar based film, and a small hole or split in this is likely to result in blindness, therefore the method needs to be approached with some care.

If you want to see all of the above, plus the prominences, than Ha filtering is necessary. Whether achieved with a purpose made Ha Solar Filter for your telescope, or one of the specialised range of Coronado Solar telescopes, its expensive.

I believe Calcium K filtering is more about looking deeper in the surface activity on the Sun, but I'm not very sure about this.

I have yet to venture into the realms of Solar astronomy, and as such have very limited knowledge of the specialised equipment involved.

I hope I'm not too far 'off track' with what I've told you, but If I am, I'm sure someone will correct me.

Dave
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RE: Viewing the Sun

Postby hansg » Sun Apr 09, 2006 10:06 pm

Hereis my solar projection box:

[url=http://sabbe.fragzone.se/KPO/SOMMARASTRO.htm]http://sabbe.fragzone.se/KPO/SOMMARASTRO.htm[/url]
Sorry txt in Swedish

and here with Baader Mylar filter:
[url=http://web.telia.com/~u21704963/thesun.htm]http://web.telia.com/~u21704963/thesun.htm[/url]

h-g
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RE: Viewing the Sun

Postby jsc248 » Mon Apr 10, 2006 11:10 am

Hi H-g,
That solar box looks interesting but what about weight? Is that not a problem?
John.
To me astronomy is looking up and thinking "What the heck is going on up there!!"
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RE: Viewing the Sun

Postby hansg » Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:23 pm

About weight, now you get me in to trouble :o), i dont know the name in English.
But i build it of 4 mm tick "Balsa-tree"( the tree you build Model airplane of) so the weight is minimal, less then my Camera.
And because it is a box with a paper in the and as you can draw the spots, it is good contrast.
h-g
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RE: Viewing the Sun

Postby jjdemery » Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:30 am

I had always projected the suns image but I discovered Baader astro solar film 8 years ago and have been very impressed by the quality, durability and value for money going down this route. An A4 sheet costs next to nothing and it is easy to fashion a holder from card or something similar. More recently I have bought a filter (mainly because I was travelling to turkey for the total) I decided to try an Astro Engineering SOL VU filter which is excellent value. It is an aluminium filter holder with badder film, it has 3 screw to attach it which proved very secure. Price varies form £27.99 for an 85mm to £49.99 for a 235mm diameter. Only problem with these film type filters is that you have to be careful with storage as although they are strong, they could be punctured so make sure you keep it in a small box.
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RE: Viewing the Sun

Postby gammalog » Mon Apr 17, 2006 6:26 pm

In my earlier reply to this 'thread' I said that "I've yet to venture into the realms of Solar astronomy'.

I have now embarked upon that venture, with a Thousand Oaks Solar filter. This is a Type 2 glass filter, which does a similar job to the Baader Solar film, albeit about five times more expensive.

I have tried it on my 'piggy-backed' ED80 refractor, both visually and with cameras (SPC900NC & LPI).

Although, there is very little to be seen in 'white light' at this time (Sun Spot minimum), I did manage to image a small group of Sun Spots.

My first impressions were very favourable and I look forward to seeing a bit more 'white light' visible activity on the Sun's surface.

The experience and aroused in me, a degree of enthusiasm for Solar observing, and I would like to also move into observing the Sun in Ha. However, I first have to convince myself of the justification for cost of doing so.

Dave

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