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AstroZap Visual Baader Solar Filter for 120 mm - 130 mm OD Telescopes - AZ1001-1
AstroZap Baader Solar Filter for 120 mm - 130 mm OD Telescopes
Made from light, 0.040" thick aluminum, this powder-coated white solar filter cell fits telescopes with an outside diameter range of 120 mm to 130 mm and features Baader AstroSolar™ safety film for eye protection when viewing the sun. Solid threaded inserts and nylon thumbscrews guarantee secure attachment.
AstroZap Visual Baader Solar Filters
The Sun appears in colorless white with Baader AstroSolar™ safety film. Other films as well as some glass filters generate a blurry bluish or reddish Solar image, thereby reducing the spectrum. With an orange sun especially, it can be difficult to locate faculae regions which are detectable primarily in the blue spectral region.
AstroSolar film, due to its neutral color balance, permits the use of an assortment of color (or interference) filters to allow the viewer to focus on certain spectral passbands for inspections of distinct solar "atmosphere" layers.
AstroSolar™ is virtually pinhole-free due to it being coated on each side, making the possibility of two overlapping pinholes extremely unlikely. Some glass filters don't always have coatings on both sides, even some of the more expensive filters. Pinholes do appear, however, but in only 1 out of 10,000 and only in optical density 2.5! Germany's National Bureau of Standards, the PTB, has approved Baader AstroSolar™ film for eye safety. Contrary to other available solar filters, AstroSolar™ film is CE-tested per EG-Norm 89/686 and EN 169/92 (notified body 0196). All processes associated with this product have been tested exhaustively. Coatings are scrutinized regularly for consistency to guarantee safety for your eyes.
What About Your Finderscope?
Adding this solar filter to your telescope will adequately filter the light coming through your focuser, but have you considered what you’ll do about your finder scope?
Here are some suggestions for dealing with your finder that will assure you do not damage your eyes (or anyone else’s) by looking at the Sun through your telescope’s unfiltered finder:
- Remove Your Finder. Ditching your finderscope when solar viewing will remove the possibility of someone accidentally looking through it to spot the Sun. Of course, not having a finder makes centering the Sun in your eyepiece more difficult, but with practice, it can be done. Set the mount down so the telescope is pointing in the direction of the Sun. Put the main solar filter on so you can check your progress, and then move the telescope around until it casts a shadow that produces a nice, sharp silhouette of the scope. The OTA will look circular. Now move your telescope up or down with your hand controller, slow motion controls, or very carefully by hand if required while looking through the eyepiece. You will not get a warning when you are close, but you should be able to align with the Sun using this method. Practice ahead of time before any big event, like an eclipse, to make sure you’ve got the process down.
- Filter Your Optical Finder. This solution is not recommended for a reflex or red dot finder since it is too easy to accidentally look around the window. If you have one of these finders we recommend you either remove it or replace it with a dedicated solar finder (see below).
To make your optical finderscope safe for solar viewing you’ll need to buy a piece of Baader Solar Film for Visual Use. This film comes in different size sheets and cuts easily with scissors, allowing you to make your own filter. You can go super low-tech and use a rubber band to hold a piece of the film firmly around the finder or you can get fancy and build your own slip-on solar filter. However you attach the solar film, you need to make sure there are no light leaks at all and that it doesn’t accidentally fall off when you move your telescope around. Any unused film can store flat between two pieces of cardboard and will keep for years. It is nice to have around, just in case of a solar emergency :-)
- Buy a Dedicated Solar Finder. Check out the Tele Vue Sol-Searcher Solar Finder. This special finder can only be used when observing the Sun, but it works very well. The Sol-Searcher is reasonably priced and can be attached to your telescope with Velcro or with #10-32 screws (user supplied).