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Thread: Stargazing safety

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    Default Stargazing safety



    Is it safe for my grand children to look at a bright moon with a moon filter? The younger one is 5 and I would like to initiate them to the hobby. Thanks for your input.
    Ron
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    Default Re: Stargazing safety

    Yes it is safe and will not damage their eyes, what type of filter are you using?
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    Default Re: Stargazing safety

    No it may lead to a life long obsession !

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    Default Re: Stargazing safety

    A variable ND filter works great. Orion markets one.
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    Default Re: Stargazing safety

    I don't think it will cause a problem, other than some temporary blindness!
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    Default

    It's always safe to look at the moon, with or without a filter. It can be uncomfortably bright initially - but it's just like coming out of a dark room into sunlight - it takes a while for your eyes to adapt. Once your eyes adapt, it's fine (but completely knackers your dark adaptation, so you can't see anything much in the dark afterwards until your eyes readapt - which can take up to half an hour or so for maximum sensitivity.)
    The filters just drop the brightness down to make things more comfortable initially - which is fine - but they're not essential. Personally, I like the variable polariser ones that let you adjust the brightness - but sometimes I'll just observe without a filter.

    The only target you NEED a proper filter to observe safely is the sun. That needs a purpose built solar filter to drop the light/ heat/ UV / IR down by a huge factor (99.several 9s %) to reduce it to safe levels - otherwise you risk serious damage to your eyesight. Not something worth improvising - the proper filters aren't that expensive, and visual performance of an improvised filter doesn't tell you anything about how it performs at dangerous non-visible wavelengths.

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    Default Re: Stargazing safety

    I have a Celestron "moon filter", which has a greenish tint.
    Ron
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    Default Re: Stargazing safety

    A green moon filter is pretty decent, in that the green does enhance some small details. If you really want to throttle down the moon, get an adjustable, polarizing filter. Orion sells 'em for around $30. That filter will also let you see the phases of Venus that can't be seen in the planet's normally very bright light.

    Regarding solar viewing with a filter, Baader Solar Film is the best. You can have these folks Solar Filters - Sun Finder, Baader Astro Solar Film and R-60 Aluminum Rings build you a nice aluminum frame with Baader film that attaches/detaches easily and will last forever. Of course, you can make your own frame as many do.

    A word of caution from a guy who has "all the solar toys"... Don't leave small children alone with a scope during the daylight hours. There is too much temptation to turn it toward the Sun. Also, if you decide to view the Sun, make sure you have either removed your finder scope, or covered it to prevent damage.

    Clear Skies
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    Default Re: Stargazing safety

    Best way to look at the moon and specially if is a full moon is to look at it with just the eyes for a moment and then when the eyes are adapted to its brightness use the telescope or binoculars. In that way you won't feel is "burning" the eyes cuz the pupile won´t be fully dilated
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    Default Re: Stargazing safety

    If you don't have it already put a cardboard disc on the OTA aperture with a small hole beside the secondary. The Zhumell Dobs come with such a system. No filter needed in that case. For the moon only, of course.
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