Solar Filter Fits

Can a regular telescope, fitted with the required accessories, be less expensive than a solar telescope?

I know the solar filters and light frequency attenuating devices are expensive telescope add-ons, but those dedicated solar telescopes on the market sure seem more dear. Can one buy the solar filter and special solar prominence viewing filter for an existing telescope, and expect results as good as that achieved using those dedicated Personal Solar Telescopes?

It depends on the wavelength in which you want to specialize. Ionized calcium, (the purple looking photos) can be added to small refractors for about $200.

This filter comes as a set that must be aligned and mounted to achieve maximum contrast. Notes are included on building a solar-scope with tilt tuned interference filters.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170175389329

The way the above filter works is there are multiple layers of transparent material built up on the glass filters. By tilting these filters to the incident beam of sunlight, you force the light to go thru thicker or thinner layers (depending on the angle of the tilt) by precisely tuning two such filters, you can effectively and cheaply remove all other wavelengths from the mix.

Hydrogen alpha wavelength is just more expensive BUT, you don't have to "roll your own." It comes complete and ready to use. The PST is actually very reasonable compared to old quartz layer filters that had to have their thickness tuned by heating the entire assembly of stacked quartz crystals

Also, there are myriad "energy reducing" solar filters that just make it safe to view the sun with any telescope. BUT, you are forced to view a mix of wavelengths that can make it difficult to see monochromatic solar flares because they are overwhelmed by the brightness of interfering wavelengths. Expect to spend $50 - $100 for a simple filter.

If you can make the frame to hold the filter on the telescope, you can reduce that cost to less than $30. Here is one of those.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250318814861

The above filter materrial has a natural orange color filter built in. By concentrating the orange, contrast on sunspots is greatly improved over blue (aluminzed mylar) or green (welding goggle type filters)




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