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VENUS TRANSIT: Nobody has to pay $150 for a solar filter! How to project a COLORIZED turly live image of the sun for under $100

 
Anonymous Coward
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05/07/2012 12:27 PM
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VENUS TRANSIT: Nobody has to pay $150 for a solar filter! How to project a COLORIZED turly live image of the sun for under $100
Allow me to begin this post by saying that, like everyone else in the world who owns a dobsonian telescope, I have been lurking over the past few days(with 3 million other people)on Orion's website only to see that the large diameter solar filters that dobsonian owners need by June 6th are running about $125-$175 ($160 for the model I would have to buy to use with my 10 inch xt classic dob). This pissed me off...as it would most people.

When I came onto GLP this morning though, I wasn't thinking about the transit. I had clicked on an article about the new sunspot (#1476), and I started thinking about how I wanted to see it for myself.

First, I tried the two paper plate thing with the hole in one, and the other as a screen...it didn't work. Then, a thought occured to me. I knew I couldn't use the dobsonian to look because I don't have the filter (and I didn't want to try to project Image using it because I don't have a cooling fan for my dob, and I am afraid the mirror might get so hot that it would melt right through it's housing and burn my legs if i were to try it).

I remembered that I had a cheap old "Department store" scope (a Meade 60mm "Az" series) in my closet. This was the scope from which I had graduated to the dobsonian. Anyway, I grabbed it, and within ten minutes, I was able to clearly project the sun and see the huge new spot on it.

After a minute or two of looking, though, I had another idea. When I got my Dobsonian, I bought a filter kit consisting of about 6 different colored planetary viewing filters (and a lunar one, but there's nowhere near enough protection to use that to directly stare at the sun). I thought "What if I used the planetary yellow to "Colorize" the sun?"

I tried it and...it works better than videos I have seen where people have put the solar filter on 8 inch dobsonians. The color is very close...it looks like the sun late in the day as it makes the sky orange.


Anyone who has a dob, but doesn't want to pay the $150 can just buy a $50 Meade scope, and a $25 yellow filter. Likewise, anybody who doesn't have any telescope at all need not buy a $400 dobsonian and then buy a $150 filter. They can just buy the baseline scope, and a yellow.

The only thing I would add is that it helps to have multiple eyepieces...if You're buying just one for the transit though, I'd go with a 10-15 mm range. It will take you a while to find the sun, but the image is stable.

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Anonymous Coward
User ID: 15640397
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05/07/2012 12:38 PM
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Re: VENUS TRANSIT: Nobody has to pay $150 for a solar filter! How to project a COLORIZED turly live image of the sun for under $100
Before I had a nice scope, for interesting "Sun" things, I would just borrow a few pairs of sunglasses from people and stack them. Around 4-6 does a great job. Then you can look directly with your own eyes. Truly amazing, and dirt cheap too. I wonder if you could duplicate this layering technique with something like that stuff they use to tint car windows.
John Everytard

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05/07/2012 12:41 PM

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Re: VENUS TRANSIT: Nobody has to pay $150 for a solar filter! How to project a COLORIZED turly live image of the sun for under $100
Before I had a nice scope, for interesting "Sun" things, I would just borrow a few pairs of sunglasses from people and stack them. Around 4-6 does a great job. Then you can look directly with your own eyes. Truly amazing, and dirt cheap too. I wonder if you could duplicate this layering technique with something like that stuff they use to tint car windows.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 15640397


there is a thicker, "reusable" window tint that you can get at walmart or wherever probably. It's glueless, supposed to stick through static I guess, or suction maybe. I've used it before, and think you could probably do this. Either layer another filter with it or layer a pair of sunglasses with it. Waaaaaay cheaper than $100
Anonymous Coward
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05/07/2012 12:43 PM
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Re: VENUS TRANSIT: Nobody has to pay $150 for a solar filter! How to project a COLORIZED turly live image of the sun for under $100
Before I had a nice scope, for interesting "Sun" things, I would just borrow a few pairs of sunglasses from people and stack them. Around 4-6 does a great job. Then you can look directly with your own eyes. Truly amazing, and dirt cheap too. I wonder if you could duplicate this layering technique with something like that stuff they use to tint car windows.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 15640397


there is a thicker, "reusable" window tint that you can get at walmart or wherever probably. It's glueless, supposed to stick through static I guess, or suction maybe. I've used it before, and think you could probably do this. Either layer another filter with it or layer a pair of sunglasses with it. Waaaaaay cheaper than $100
 Quoting: John Everytard


Yup sounds like the perfect stuff, way cheap than $150 or $100. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if that is the exact same material but you are paying a 1000% markup on it because it is labeled as a "solar filter".
Anonymous Coward
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05/07/2012 12:48 PM
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Re: VENUS TRANSIT: Nobody has to pay $150 for a solar filter! How to project a COLORIZED turly live image of the sun for under $100
Ahhh, welding glass works great...and it's cheap. I use a doulble thickness secured with tape...
Marax

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05/07/2012 12:51 PM

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Re: VENUS TRANSIT: Nobody has to pay $150 for a solar filter! How to project a COLORIZED turly live image of the sun for under $100
You could just go buy a roll of mylar an make your own for like $20!

Lots of solar filters are made from mylar and it works fine. Depending oh how thick it is you might need a few layers of it.

Last Edited by Marax on 05/07/2012 12:53 PM
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op (OP)
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05/07/2012 01:04 PM
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Re: VENUS TRANSIT: Nobody has to pay $150 for a solar filter! How to project a COLORIZED turly live image of the sun for under $100
While it might be more comfortable than looking at the sun directly, the sunglasses thing isn't safe. UV rays still get in and can do damage if you're staring at the sun for something like a transit (for use in an eclipse for just a minute or so at a time...you might be alright). The only thing that works and is safe (besides projecting) is to use welding goggles as someone above has stated. They'll probably work (they won't magnify though), but good ones are expensive if you have to buy a pair for the first time...I wouldn't do it just for the upcoming solar events personally because I don't weld at all really.

With a small scope, you can not only project the image, but magnify and focus it. In theory, you could project a colorized and focused live image onto something as big as a movie screen during a solar event if you put some time and effort into getting it to focus(I might do some sort of tinkering like that during the eclipse on the 20th).