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  1. #1
    AdamDietrick's Avatar
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    Default Inexpensive Solar Filter?



    Does anyone know where one can pilfer an inexpensive solar filter that fit 1.25" lenses?
    Or do the things slip over the end of the scope?
    Last edited by AdamDietrick; 09-24-2009 at 12:51 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default

    If it were me , I would get the best filter i could afford ...Dont take any chances with your eyes ...And yes , use the one's that fit over the end of the scope ...Full aperture ... Dont use the ones for eyepieces ...And if you do get the full aperture filter , make it a glass filter that cant scratch as easily as mylar ... Make a point to cover the finder scope .... Take no chances with your eyes ....
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    Default

    Never, I repeat NEVER, use one of those cheap eyepiece filters that are supposed to be solar filters. They will heat up and shatter from the intense sunlight focusing through the telescope, and you will promptly damage your eye as a result.

    What you need is a solar filter that filters out sunlight before it enters your telescope. This is why you see aperture filters the cover the front end of telescopes.
    The most inexpensive filter material you can get is surprisingly rated as the best (by a Sky & Telescope review). It is the Baader Planetarium Astrosolar Safety film as seen here:

    http:
    //www.baader-planetarium.com/sofifolie/sofi_start_e.htm


    One reason why it is inexpensive is that it is the filter material by itself. It is up to you to make your own filter cell, but it can easily be made from stiff cardboard, wood, or plastic substrates. Mine is made from PVC sheeting designed for use in the sign industry.

    There are other filters that have glass that is metallized. They cost a lot more and they do not show the Sun's photosphere as well as the Baader film does. Granted the Baader film is more fragile than a glass filter but if you design your filter cell right it will not be susceptible to damage. The Baader film aslo shows the Photosphere in its true color, white. Glass filters show a yellow or blue solar disk that will confuse outreach viewers.

    Here is an example of what you can see with a Baader Astrosolar Safety film filter cell on your telescope:



    If you want to see solar prominances and flares, you will need a Hydrogen-Alpha telescope to view the Chromosphere. The $500 Coronado PST is a popular H-Alpha telescope for amateurs.
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  4. #4
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    Default

    Thanks guys! I am looking at the film now. And I chose my words carefully-- I said inexpensive, not cheap. I know better than going cheap when looking at the sun.

    Oh, and good tip about covering the finder scope!
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  5. #5
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    Here is a link to an American retailer

    Solar Observation
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    Default

    If you dont cover the finder scope , it would be like a 6 power laser beam ...It could set stuff on fire ...
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  7. #7
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    Default

    That does sound like fun, though.
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  8. #8
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    Default

    Baader Safety Film is the best myler film filter currently on the market and is quite inexpensive. Personally I use a Thousand Oaks type 2+ solar filter on my scope. And as for finder scope i just remove mine from the scope when doing solar observing.

  9. #9
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    Default

    There is the story about the absent minded astronomy 101 professor that forgot to remove the finderscope and ended up setting his tie on fire...

    Attached is my telescope set up for solar observing. Note that I have a Baader solar filter cell over my finderscope, along with a square sunshield.

    Matthew Ota
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  10. The Following User Says Thank You to matthewota For This Useful Post:

    roverich (09-24-2009)

  11. #10
    AdamDietrick's Avatar
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    Ha, that is too funny Matthew!
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