[Chaos-l] The Sun this year
robertnielsen at nc.rr.com
Tue Feb 14 09:01:31 EST 2012
Well, you asked ...
The different types of solar filters / scopes show different things:
White-Light Filter: Use existing scope, shows sunspots and transit
Ha Solar Scope: Shows prominences and some surface detail in addition to sunspots and transit
Double-Stack: Shows lots of detail on surface
If you really want to get into looking at the sun in detail, you will need to move beyond just a white-light filter, since it doesn't really show what you will want to see. When I attended NEAF last year, they had a bevy of solar scopes out, and I tried to determine which was best - the winner (hands down) was the Lunt scope ... with the double-stacked version essentially showing everything I would want to see. The other varieties (like the ones that had calcium and potassium filters) showed too dim of an image to me. And honestly, things weren't much better when you got over 80mm in aperture. The 100mm was a little better ... not sure it was worth the extra money. And while impressive, the 152mm solar scope wasn't that much better. All of this is my opinion, you realize.
So to see the eclipse and transit, you don't need a solar scope ... the white-light filter will be fine. But if you want to get into solar observing, I would suggest attending the Staunton River Star Party because I know a couple of people will be there with different types of solar scopes and you can judge for yourself!
Sent from my iPad
On Feb 14, 2012, at 12:56 AM, Tony Garcia <randomcoffee at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am curious if any viewed the last transit of Venus or an Annular eclipse, and what equipment people may have used and would recommend. ( at risk of starting a never ending thread I know, but we are an astronomy club, why not? ) A few opinions would be great.
> In just a few months we have an Annular Eclipse in the west on May 20th- ( which I am seriously considering flying out for since it will be over parts of the west I know very well, the Black Rock Desert all the way to Farmington NM, Chaco Canyon and ABQ. Lots to choose from! )
> And the transit of Venus on June 5th. ( heck, I may fly out west for both, or the NC mountains sound nice. or how hot will Medoc be in June ?)
> Considering the rarity of all of this I am considering getting a more serious solar telescope. I do already have a white light solar filter for my 6" maksutov-newtonian ( levy comet hunter ), which gives me decent white light views of sunspots, but that's it.
> Not bad, but should I consider more? A 60mm Coronado? A 60mm Lunt either visual or imaging? Something else?
> And are the views really that much more awesome? ( a few thousand dollars more awesome than what I have now! )
> Should I get a double stack filter if going that far?
> Will the general solar viewing and imaging w/ an H-A telescope be quite fun if you are a solar enthusiast? ( i've read this book, Fundamentals of Solar Astronomy so I'm somewhat into it. )
> ( one more dangerous side road - was also considering a better mount for maybe catching a picture or two with a canon DSLR - currently using a good alt-azimuth, was thinking about the new meade LX80, or maybe the IEQ45 ? Maybe I don't need that much mount for 17-20 pounds of telescope, and less w/ 60mm solar scopes at 8 - 10 pounds. )
> -C. Tonyg
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> Chaos-l at rtpnet.org
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