Solar Observing Tips

Sun Solar Minimum Solar Observing Solar Cycle

There are a plethora of guides available online for what can be seen and how solar observing can be done. Space.com, Astronomy.com, SkyAndTelescope, and others all provide their own tutorials and guides; however, this article, we will be providing a bunch of tips and tricks to help out in observing regardless of which article or guides you follow.

  1. Never look directly at the sun without an appropriate filter. The sun can cause permanent eye and telescope damage.
  2. Although uncommon today and only available in older telescopes, NEVER used a Sun filter. They are extremely unsafe!
  3. If deciding between utilizing a larger telescope, 8 inch dobsonian, or a smaller scope, 4 inch dobsonian, for solar observing always go with the smaller scope. Smaller scopes will get better viewing clarity on the sun than larger scopes.
  4. If you are unsure about which filter to use, talk to an astronomer at a local astronomy club or forum board or us for their suggestions.
  5. If using a telescope, please make sure that the filter is tightly screwed onto the front of the telescope before even trying to view the sun!
  6. In terms of direct viewing, refractors are slightly better and deliver sharper and higher-contrast images than reflectors 
  7. For solar projection, refractors are best due to minimum obstruction in the focussed light path and for mechanical mounting of a projection screen.

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