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Solar filter suggestions for a noob

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#1 Hax

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 09:47 AM

Hi all, 

Im pretty new to astronomy, and i have 2 telescopes, an Orion Spaceprobe 130ST, and a Celestron C6R with AVX. I have a few eyepieces to go with them but the only filter i have is a moon filter for lunar observation. My main question would be, is there a difference between solar filters between those 2 scopes? I've seen a few kinds of solar filters and really would like one, but don't want to purchase the wrong kind. Price range doesn't matter too much, and im mostly looking for a good quality solar filter for the refractor (if there is a difference). Would anyone be able to point me in the right direction for a solar filter for observational viewing? I would like to see sun spots/flares if that's possible with observational. 

Any and all help is greatly appreciated, And sorry for any ignorance as im just starting out seriously as an amateur astronomer.

PS i am also going to purchase some type of fringe killer, narrowband or semi APO filter (I'm still researching that too, if there is even a difference between those) because I'm aware the C6R can have some aberration problems.



#2 DLuders

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 10:13 AM

You can get a square of the Thousand Oaks Solar Filter Film , and one square may be large enough for BOTH of your telescopes.  It creates a pleasing orange color, unlike some filters that produce a white disk.  I used it for the Aug 2017 Total Solar Eclipse.  You can get a piece of Styrofoam from your local Craft Store, and use double-sided tape to adhere the film onto the Styrofoam that has a cutout to fit on the end of your telescope tube.  That setup is lightweight and inexpensive.    smile.gif 


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#3 descott12

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 10:13 AM

For white light, most people recommend Baader solar film.

 

Something like this https://www.highpoin...t-sheet-asolv-s

 

You can make a filter frame yourself or buy one pre-made for your scope(s).

 

But the sun is bit boring in white light now although there are few spots present right now.

 

Realize that you will not see all the cool prominences that are seen in H-alpha - that is a whole other thing and is alot more expensive.



#4 Couder

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 10:28 AM

Sunspots are visible with eyepiece projection, a Herschel wedge, or a filter that goes over your lens. For flares you will need more expensive equipment. I use all 3 methods; all 3 are safe when used properly. I have been observing the sun with these 3 methods for almost 50 years. For yourself, choose what suits your budget and safety concerns. If you choose to share views, it seems the public has heard not to look through the telescope at the sun, so projection eases their concerns, as they're only looking at a piece of paper or cardboard. The following link will give some information.

 

 http://www.deepskywa...nent eye damage.

 

The pictures below shows 2 projection methods; solar filters over lens; and a photo taken though a Herschel wedge (I see I should have cleaned the optics beforehand)

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#5 Hax

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 10:34 AM

For white light, most people recommend Baader solar film.

 

Something like this https://www.highpoin...t-sheet-asolv-s

 

You can make a filter frame yourself or buy one pre-made for your scope(s).

 

But the sun is bit boring in white light now although there are few spots present right now.

 

Realize that you will not see all the cool prominences that are seen in H-alpha - that is a whole other thing and is alot more expensive.

So are you suggesting i should pick up an H-Alpha filter? as mentioned price isnt really an issue i just want a quality filter that will last and more importantly give awesome views..That said, if i went with H-Alpha would i also need a solar filter on top of that? 

-Thanks in advance



#6 descott12

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 11:55 AM

So are you suggesting i should pick up an H-Alpha filter? as mentioned price isnt really an issue i just want a quality filter that will last and more importantly give awesome views..That said, if i went with H-Alpha would i also need a solar filter on top of that? 

-Thanks in advance

The night-time H-alpha filters are NOT the same. YOU WILL GO BLIND.

Viewing in H-alpha requires a complete system. It is not just a single filter.

Check out luntsolarsystems.com. They make great H-alpha solar scopes and they have a lot of great information about the whole process.

Solar viewing is very rewarding because it is different every day. But you need the correct equipment to do it  correctly and safely.

I have a Lunt 50 mm solar scope. I love it. It is one of the lower end models but it is very nice. I think it cost me about $1600 with an upgraded focuser and I upgraded it with what is called a "double stack" for about $800 more.



#7 Hax

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 12:12 PM

The night-time H-alpha filters are NOT the same. YOU WILL GO BLIND.

Viewing in H-alpha requires a complete system. It is not just a single filter.

Check out luntsolarsystems.com. They make great H-alpha solar scopes and they have a lot of great information about the whole process.

Solar viewing is very rewarding because it is different every day. But you need the correct equipment to do it  correctly and safely.

I have a Lunt 50 mm solar scope. I love it. It is one of the lower end models but it is very nice. I think it cost me about $1600 with an upgraded focuser and I upgraded it with what is called a "double stack" for about $800 more.

This is the reason why i like to look into things before diving in head first lol, thank you!



#8 descott12

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 03:57 PM

Also, there is something called a DayStar Quark that you can use with your refractor potentially. Might be a little less expensive way to get started.  I tried one and really didn't like it but many of the solar geeks on CN really love them and many of the great images on CN are taken with Quarks.

 

http://www.daystarfilters.com


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#9 RichA

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 01:27 AM

Hi all, 

Im pretty new to astronomy, and i have 2 telescopes, an Orion Spaceprobe 130ST, and a Celestron C6R with AVX. I have a few eyepieces to go with them but the only filter i have is a moon filter for lunar observation. My main question would be, is there a difference between solar filters between those 2 scopes? I've seen a few kinds of solar filters and really would like one, but don't want to purchase the wrong kind. Price range doesn't matter too much, and im mostly looking for a good quality solar filter for the refractor (if there is a difference). Would anyone be able to point me in the right direction for a solar filter for observational viewing? I would like to see sun spots/flares if that's possible with observational. 

Any and all help is greatly appreciated, And sorry for any ignorance as im just starting out seriously as an amateur astronomer.

PS i am also going to purchase some type of fringe killer, narrowband or semi APO filter (I'm still researching that too, if there is even a difference between those) because I'm aware the C6R can have some aberration problems.

If this is really Baader film, this is a good deal for a pre-made filter.

 

 https://tinyurl.com/ycvuzmon



#10 Hesiod

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 06:22 AM

Since you have a refractor, I suggest to purchase an Herschel prism: it is more expensive than film filters but will last forever and IME gives you better views.
Since yours is a fast achro I suggest to add also a good green filter (Baader sell a dedicated one called "Continuum" but a dark green planetary filter, or even the OIII nebular filter will work) to really sharpen the views
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#11 AlphaGJohn

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 11:10 PM

Also, there is something called a DayStar Quark that you can use with your refractor potentially. Might be a little less expensive way to get started.  I tried one and really didn't like it but many of the solar geeks on CN really love them and many of the great images on CN are taken with Quarks.

 

http://www.daystarfilters.com

The Quark generally would do better with a higher f-ratio scope, I believe. It's not an inexpensive way to be able to see H-alpha features, necessarily.  A small aperture H-alpha scope, especially used, may be a better value. There's lots of great info in the solar forum.

 

I have both Thousand Oaks & Badder white light filters. The Badder may have slightly better contrast but it's a minor difference. I think you'd enjoy either, particularly as we move to a more active part of the solar cycle.

 

Solar H-alpha is a different beast and the advice posted above is right on target. H-alpha eyepiece (or more commonly camera) filters are specialized items for nebulas that have a lot of red in their color.

 

I enjoy both types of solar viewing: filtered white light and H-alpha.

 

John


Edited by AlphaGJohn, 07 June 2020 - 11:11 PM.


#12 briansalomon1

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 11:48 AM

I've used the solar film type of filters for many years and have only recently been able to afford H-alpha systems. They are definitely worth the expense. Quality is an issue with some manufacturers. I have not read a negative review of any Daystar product (I have a Quark Classic and would not sell it) and Lunt has a good reputation.


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#13 Jeff L

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Posted 13 June 2020 - 11:53 AM

I just finished looking at the sun with my 6 inch dob. I took out the eyepiece and put in the plastic cover then I removed the filter from the front of the scope , within seconds the eyepiece started smoking. The plastic cover that was in the eyepiece was burning. The sun is no joke. It will blind you if you’re not careful.



#14 Don W

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Posted 13 June 2020 - 01:51 PM

Sunspots are visible with eyepiece projection, a Herschel wedge, or a filter that goes over your lens. For flares you will need more expensive equipment.
 

I think you mean prominences. Not the same thing as flares.




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