Solar Observing – Tuesday Afternoon

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Yesterday afternoon I took the new telescope out to get some practice with the German Equatorial Mount. At this stage I have not had the time to set up the 2nd scope with a solar filter, so for my observing session yesterday afternoon I used the filter from my main telescope. Since the solar filter was created for a 130mm scope and I was using it on my new 127mm scope, the filter was of course slightly too big.

Due to the dangers of looking at the Sun without a filter, I had to tape down the sides of the solar filter in order to make sure the filter did not come loose while I was observing the Sun. That would have been a disaster and one quick way of going blind. During my 45 minute session I  payed more attention on the filter making sure it was safely in place during my session.

The Sun has become very active over the last month or so which is very encouraging considering the vast lack of sunspots during the last 2 years. I think just about every day for the last month there has been a sun spot visible somewhere on the Sun .

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Sunspot 1040 was yesterday just on the verge of disappearing over the western limb of the sun. I Had a look through the scope but was not able to see the spot as it was a little faint and diffacult to see at that stage.

In the next 30 to 90 days I will be purchasing a Coronado PST telescope which is a hydrogen alpha telescope which will allow me to see sunspots a lot better as well as prominences and filaments and other solar activity. I believe this telescope sells for about $500 (without a tripod) and am looking for a local dealer who has the best deal.

Once I have the hydrogen alpha telescope, I will add images of what I see to Sydney Star gazers.

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~ by sydneystargazers on January 20, 2010.

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