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Thread: Help needed for solar outreach

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    Default Help needed for solar outreach



    I am considering buying a fairly inexpensive scope to use for solar viewing demonstrations with some young and older guests at the resort where I work. I’m not sure what scope would work for looking at sun spots, proms etc. and I really don’t want to buy an expensive solar scope. Also I would like to possibly use it this summer to show them some of the brighter planets. What size and type scope would you recommend and could I just use a solar filter on the end of the OTA? Thanks!
    Ed
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    Default Re: Help needed for solar outreach

    Well, you're not going to see proms with a white-light filter stuck on the end. Additionally, during the next couple of years we are stuck with a solar minimum which means sunspots are scarce as hen's teeth. (Sorry.)

    So, what's a guy to do? Here's my suggestion...

    Buy a Quark-Chromosphere and mate it with a nice f/7.5 scope... something like the SkyWatcher Evostar 80ED.

    The 80ED will serve you on planets, moon, and some DSO views if your sky is dark enough.

    Slap the Quark on it and you have a nice Ha scope.

    You'll need something like a 40mm and/or 30mm Plossl eyepiece to mate-up with the Quark.

    Clear Skies.
    John (Urban Astronomer)
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    Default Re: Help needed for solar outreach

    ^^^ What he said. If you want prominences there is no free or even cheap or mid priced lunch. At least with a Quark you could use the scope for planets too.

    To save a little though the Orion ED80 f7.5 would work.
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    Default Re: Help needed for solar outreach

    I have the Coronado PST. I use it for outreach at lot. One thing I have noted over the years is that people in general have little patience. It is difficult to get them to have the patience to take the time to examine the edge of the sun to find the prominences, flares, etc. about 10% never see anything - even when the sun is square in the lens. It is sometimes difficult even for me to position my eye at just the right spot in relation to the eyepiece to see the sun. While the PST is good enough for me, I'm not sure it is the best for outreach. However, having sunk $700 into it, I'm stuck on it. The cheapo lens it comes with might be to blame, so I've ordered (and expecting arrival today) of a better (zoom) lens (which I'll use for other things as well).

    However, for the remaining 90% of people viewing, I can only say that it is quite rewarding to hear the happy expletives as they see for themselves the roiling sun. The PST is small and very light weight. I made a wooden box for it with about $10 in parts - much cheaper than the box Coronado sells. So, I guess I'm saying that if you can afford something more expensive, go for it. The PST is good, but not excellent as an Ha scope.
    "To be good is not enough when you dream of being great"

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    Default Re: Help needed for solar outreach

    Quote Originally Posted by not_Fritz_Argelander View Post
    ^^^ What he said. If you want prominences there is no free or even cheap or mid priced lunch. At least with a Quark you could use the scope for planets too.

    To save a little though the Orion ED80 f7.5 would work.
    How 'bout my f6.9 WO80 apograde Antares?
    OTA's: 203mm f10 Meade SCT (LXD75); Antares 80mm Refractor w/William Optics APOGrade f6.9 objective;
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    Default Re: Help needed for solar outreach

    Quote Originally Posted by GulfCoastGuy View Post
    How 'bout my f6.9 WO80 apograde Antares?
    Don't know the scope. Link? You upgraded an Antares with a WO objective?

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    Default Re: Help needed for solar outreach

    The Antares Sentinel 80 was a WO Zenithstar 80 clone.

    https://www.adorama.com/woz80k.html?discontinued=t

    WO later offered an upgrade to a semi-apo objective that fit the Sentinel as well.

    https://www.astromart.com/reviews/ar...article_id=398
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    Default Re: Help needed for solar outreach

    Quote Originally Posted by GulfCoastGuy View Post
    The Antares Sentinel 80 was a WO Zenithstar 80 clone.

    https://www.adorama.com/woz80k.html?discontinued=t

    WO later offered an upgrade to a semi-apo objective that fit the Sentinel as well.

    https://www.astromart.com/reviews/ar...article_id=398
    Looks nice! With a Quark one could do solar outreach as well as other uses without the Quark.
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    Default Re: Help needed for solar outreach

    Thanks. I was looking for a decent solar solution to put on my "Things I want/need to get before I retire" list.
    OTA's: 203mm f10 Meade SCT (LXD75); Antares 80mm Refractor w/William Optics APOGrade f6.9 objective;
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    Default Re: Help needed for solar outreach

    That scope would work fine with a Quark. DayStar recommends a focal ratio range of f/5 to f/9. The "happy medium" somewhere around f/7 seems to work the best in the average conditions.

    I use four scopes with the Quark... f/5, f/5.9, f/7.5 & f/9.

    Just be aware that for any aperture over 80mm a UV/IR-cut filter must be installed as the "first thing" the incoming light "sees" after passing through the objective lens. Rather than switch a filter around between scopes, I have a UV/IR-cut filter installed in front of the diagonal in all four scopes.
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