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Looking at the Sun through binoculars.

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#1 Zorbathegeek

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 05:45 PM

You've probably seen images of the sun like this in the media recently, but the disconcerting feeling this has created in me has encouraged me to share. The 1st January had an 'end of the world' feeling about it. I'm in the South Island of New Zealand and the smoke that has created a natural filter has travelled over 2000km! I've never before been able to observe the sun through my binoculars on a supposed clear day. I took this shot through my cell phone. Happy New Year to all. Ray.

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#2 Jim Waters

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 06:17 PM

I had no idea that the fires were so large.



#3 DLuders

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 06:20 PM

I sympathize with you; a few years ago the wildfire smoke around Spokane, Washington USA was as bad, and one could look at the sun with your unshielded eyes even though it was 30 degrees above the horizon.  frown.gif 



#4 payner

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 05:43 PM

Remember, the damaging UV is not going to be effectively filtered. Use appropriate protective lenses when looking at even a smoke dimmed sun. Some studies I have seen found the heaviest level of smoke/aerosols will only reduce the total radiation by about 50 percent and blocks a lower percentage of the UV radiation.


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#5 Zorbathegeek

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 10:07 PM

Remember, the damaging UV is not going to be effectively filtered. Use appropriate protective lenses when looking at even a smoke dimmed sun. Some studies I have seen found the heaviest level of smoke/aerosols will only reduce the total radiation by about 50 percent and blocks a lower percentage of the UV radiation.

Thanks for your insight. I've just checked and on the worst day, and the day I observed, it was about 50% UV reduction, although I did wait until the sun was about 25 degrees altitude. I'll bear this in mind for the future. The worst has passed for now although the night time seeing can be pretty awful these days. A small inconvenience in perspective though.



#6 Scott in NC

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 08:02 AM

I moved this to the Solar forum, where it's a better fit (as it was previously in the Solar System forum).




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