This weekend I finally got to use my AstroZap Baader solar filter and snap a few quick shots of our nearest star, the Sun.
Remember with solar viewing safety should always come first, as there is a risk of permanent damage to your sight or even blindness. First thing you should always do is check your solar filter for any damage or holes before each use. Once I was happy my filter was safe to use, I fitted it to the end of the scope tube and moved the scope into position.
Unfortunatly, due to the position of our garden, surrounding houses and the time of year, I only had a 10 minuite window in which to do some solar viewing while the sun was low enough for the scope to see it. Most of that time was taken trying to get my scope to point at the sun, which is not so easy when you have no finder scope and should not look at the target. Luckily when I had set my scope up it was casting a shadow on the fence, this gave me an idea, I would use the shadow on the fence to align my scope.
The theory being if the scope is pointing directly at the sun, the shadow of the tube should be a perfect circle, as the length of the tube would not cast a shadow. Once I positioned my scope so that the shadow was a circle I quickly checked the view finder and the sun was almost perfectly central.
Now that the sun was in view, I quickly setup my camera and mount . It took a few attempts to get the setting on the camera right to get the below photo:
As the year progresses hopefully I’ll have more opportunity to study our star, it is a sight to behold.