Thursday, July 27, 2006
Observing the Sun from the shadeI have been observing the Sun for over a year now, using the Coronado PST and TAL 100RS (combined with the Baader Herschel Wedge). One of the problems I noticed during all the observing sessions was getting a good view of the Sun while you are sitting in the direct sunlight. I used to put a black T-shirt over my head, but I can tell you, you feel like your head starts to melt within a few minutes.
Two months ago I decided to try a big plate of Styrofoam. I just cut two holes in it with a box cutter, so it fits over the PST and the 4-inch refractor. To be honest, it works perfectly for me. Now I sit much more relaxed behind the eyepiece. The views are much better, and the white Styrofoam keeps of the heat as well. If I want to have a real good view through the PST, I still use the black T-shirt, but because I do not get direct sunlight on my head, this isn’t a problem anymore. My advise for solar-observers: get behind some kind of white plate, and of you are looking in H-alpha, make your surroundings as dark as possible. I personally get much more contrast when I view with the black T-shirt draped over my head and over the telescope.
Here are two images of the telescopes and the Styrofoam plate, and two images (from the first week of June) I shot during that observing session, one with the PST and one with the Herschel-wedge. Click on the images to enlarge!