Saturday, April 28, 2012

Make an ED80 Solar Filter

I have a Skywatcher 80ED Pro Telescope and have decided to make a Solar Filter so that I can view and image our nearest star, the Sun.
First I bought some Baader AstroSolar Safety Film which cost about £20. I have been looking at designs for a filter as well as the instructions that come with the Baader Film... then before embarking on a major construction job I had a thought...Hobbycraft...I wonder if they have anything that might make it easier to mount the filter onto the scope. I took a tape measure with me to Hobbycraft and spotted an array of different frame boxes. There I found a round cardboard box with a lid and top. It was exactly the right size to put over the front of an ED80! I bought one along with some double sided tape for £4 altogether and set off to build my Solar Filter.

This is what I did... First, the box..

Next, mark and cut the bottom and top parts...

Use a sharp knife to cut out the rings...

Use double sided tape to stick the Baader Film to the lid and bottom of the box. It is best to lay the film onto the tissue paper provided and then place the top ring onto the film. Trim the excess film with scissors, then place it carefully on top of the box unit. 

Put the cover on top of the completed unit. It fits perfectly onto my 80ED Pro scope!

Next, paint it to match the scope...

Now I look forward to some great images of the Sun!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Venus and Pleiades

A beautiful sight of Venus and Pleiades together. I didn't take the scope
outside, I took the photos with my Canon EOS350d with a 200mm zoom lens mounted
on a tripod in my back garden. The last photo is a wide angle view showing some
of the other star clusters.