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Safely Observe the Sun

with a range of Celestron telescopes and white-light solar products from Baader Planetarium

Observe the Sun - Sunspots and Granulation

Our nearest Star - the Sun

We are now leading up to the Summer Solstice which will occur on Saturday 20 June 2020 at 21:43 GMT (22:43 BST). With the Sun being high in the sky over the next few months now is a great time to start exploring our nearest star.

PLEASE NOTE: Never look at the Sun directly either through a telescope or with the unprotected naked eye as you will be blinded. Always use a suitable reputable Solar filter accessory such as the Baader AstroSolar filter.

The Sun is very important to us here on Earth as it gives light and the heat that is necessary for life to exist. Our Sun is what also powers our climate and weather and it also has other effects on our atmosphere. The Sun is an easy celestial object to observe because it is so bright in the sky and it appears daily making it an “easy find”.

Studying our Sun safely with a telescope, pair of binoculars or a spotting scope can be very rewarding as our Sun is a very active and dynamic star meaning you can sometimes see changes over periods of hours or days. Solar observing with a suitable filter is also not expensive and is therefore a great way to start your Solar journey of discovery.

Top 10 facts about our Sun

Here are some facts about the Sun that may amaze you:

  • ~109 times the size of the Earth.
  • ~1 million Earth’s would fit inside the Sun.
  • 330,000 times the mass of our Earth
  • Accounts for 99.86% of the mass of our Solar system
  • Has an average density 1.4 times that of water
  • The temperature on the Sun’s “surface” is ~5600C but around 15 million degrees at its centre.
  • In the Sun’s core nuclear fusion converts 600 million tons of hydrogen into 596 million tons of helium every second.
  • Travels at ~220 kilometres per second around the Galactic centre.
  • It is 24,000-26,000 light years from and takes ~250 million years to complete a “Galactic orbit”.
  • Is ~4.6 billion years old and is ~half way through its life.

Granulation

The Solar granulation is an ever present feature of the Sun’s surface (photosphere) even in the absence of Sunspots and gives the Solar disc a mottled granular texture. Solar granule are the tops of convection cells where hot fluid rises up from the Solar interior in the bright areas, and then spreads outwards across the surface, cool and descend which give their darker boundaries. A Solar granule can be larger in diameter than the United Kingdom and live only briefly, for between 8 to 20 minutes.

Sunspots

Sunspots appear as “dark spots” on the surface (photosphere) of our Sun. They appear dark because they are relatively cool compared to the rest of the photosphere. The average temperature of the Sun’s photosphere is ~5500°C, with the Sunspots being ~1500 degrees cooler. The magnetic field in a sunspot can be 1000 times stronger than in the surrounding area and these strong magnetic fields prevent some of the heat from within the Sun reaching the surface leading to a cooler area.

Faculae

Solar Faculae (Latin for “small torches”) are extended bright granular structured areas which are slightly hotter than the surrounding photosphere. They are usually, and most easily, seen near the edge (limb) limb of the solar disk where the photosphere appears dimmer due to limb darkening. A sunspot can have an associated facula, but faculae may also appear on their own in regions away from sunspots and may indicate the formation of new Sunspot groups.

Celestron EclipSmart Solar filter

Use your 6″ SCT or 8″ SCT/EdgeHD telescope to observe or image the Sun safely using Celestron’s EclipSmart Solar filters. With this filter attached to the telescope you will get a yellow-Sun coloured view that is pleasing to the eye and will be able to observe and image features such as Sunspots and granulation. The filters are easy to fit on the telescope and come with Velcro fixings to keep the filter in place on the telescope for added safety.

  • Instantly transform your normal Celestron 6” Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, or 8" SCT/EdgeHD into a SAFE yellow-light solar telescope 
  • ISO compliant solar safe film protects your eyes when viewing the sun, unlike some other filters on the market
  • Scratch resistant polymer produced by American Paper Optics
  • Designed from the telescope’s lens cap for a snug fit, each filter includes two safety Velcro straps and four self-adhesive Velcro pads for safely securing your solar filter in place
Description

Enhance your Solar viewing experience with the Celestron EclipSmart solar filters. With two Velcro straps and four self-adhesive Velcro pads for added safety, you can be assured that the solar filter cannot be accidentally knocked off and will provide Solar Safe, ISO compliant viewing

EclipSmart solar products feature Solar Safe filter technology providing the ultimate protection from harmful solar radiation, including both IR and UV light, and filters 99.999% of visible light. Celestron Solar Safe filter technology is GUARANTEED SAFE for direct solar observation and has been independently tested by SAI Global Assurance Services.

Solar Safe products conform to and meet the transmission requirements of ISO 12312-2, Filters for Direct Observation of the Sun, EN 1836:2005 + A1:2007 (E) for an E15 Filter for the Direct Observation of the Sun and, AS/NZS 1338.1:2012, Filters for Eye Protectors.

Check out our first look at the Sun with this filter here.

Specifications
Filter clear aperture 128.5mm (6" SCT version) | 176mm (8" SCT/EdgeHD version)
Filter diameter (external) 184mm (6" SCT version) | 235mm (8" SCT/EdgeHD version)
Filter diameter (internal) 174mm (6" SCT) | 225mm (8" SCT/EdgeHD version)
Filter material Scratch resistant polymer produced by American Paper Optics
Filter thickness 32mm
Nylon safety straps Two 1” x 4” Velcro straps, Four 1” x 1” Velcro Tabs
Telescope Compatibility Celestron 8” Schmidt-Cassegrain and EdgeHD Telescopes
Weight 74g/2.6oz (6" SCT) | 121g/4.2oz (8" SCT/Edge HD)
Find out more

Selection of Celestron telescopes for use with the EclipSmart Solar filter or Baader AstroSolar white-light filter

Below are a small selection of some of the popular 6″ and 8″ SCT/EdgeHD Celestron telescopes that can be used with the EclipSmart Solar filters or Baader AstroSolar white-light or ready made filters.

Celestron Astro Fi 6 Schmidt-Cassegrain
Celestron Astro Fi 6 Schmidt-Cassegrain
Celestron Astro Fi 6 Schmidt-Cassegrain

Celestron Astro Fi 6 Schmidt-Cassegrain

£649.00
Celestron NexStar 6 SLT Computerised Telescope
Celestron NexStar 6 SLT Computerised Telescope

Celestron NexStar 6 SLT Computerised Telescope

£679.00
Celestron NexStar Evolution 6 - Includes For Free: Lens Shade & NexYZ Smartphone Adaptor
Celestron NexStar Evolution 6 - Includes For Free: Lens Shade & NexYZ Smartphone Adaptor

Celestron NexStar Evolution 6

£1,425.00
Celestron NexStar 8SE Computerised Telescope
Celestron NexStar 8SE Computerised Telescope
Celestron NexStar 8SE Computerised Telescope
Celestron NexStar 8SE Computerised Telescope - full view
Celestron NexStar 8SE Computerised Telescope - drive base
Celestron NexStar 8SE Computerised Telescope - rear view
Celestron NexStar 8SE Computerised Telescope - side view

Celestron NexStar 8SE Computerised Telescope

£1,599.00
Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 - Includes Free: Lens Shade & NexYZ Smartphone Adaptor
Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 - Includes Free: Lens Shade & NexYZ Smartphone Adaptor

Celestron NexStar Evolution 8

£2,095.00
Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 HD with StarSense - Includes Free Lens Shade & NexYZ Adapter
Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 HD with StarSense - Includes Free Lens Shade & NexYZ Adapter

Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 HD with StarSense

£2,575.00

Solar Observing with other Celestron Telescopes

Solar Observing with other Celestron Telescopes If you own a different Celestron (or other brand) telescope, such as an AstroMaster reflector or refractor, the new NexStar 102 SLT or a 9.25″ SCT/EdgeHD , or have binoculars or a spotting scope, then we recommend Baader Planetarium AstroSolar film, or their ready made filters, for Solar study. You can find these products on our Baader Planetarium UK website here. If you are unsure about what you need please contact us and we will be happy to help.

Baader AstroSolar film and ready-made filters

A way of observing or imaging the Sun in white light safely is to use a suitable a high quality objective-end Solar filter to reduce the amount of light entering the telescope to a safe level. Baader have their AstroSolar Solar film for this purpose. The AstroSolar film and ready made filters are available in:

- ND5.0 version for visual/photographic use
- ND3.8 version for imaging purposes only.

The AstroSolar film can be ordered in different sized sheets for you to make your own Solar filter holder. The film is also available pre-mounted in a range of different sized aluminium housings that is “ready to go” straight onto your telescope, binocular, spotting scope or camera lens.

Baader ASTF: AstroSolar Telescope Filter OD 5.0 (80mm - 280mm)
Baader ASTF: AstroSolar Telescope Filter OD 5.0 (80mm - 280mm)
Baader ASTF: AstroSolar Telescope Filter OD 5.0 (80mm - 280mm)
Baader ASTF: AstroSolar Telescope Filter OD 5.0 (80mm - 280mm)

Baader ASTF: AstroSolar Telescope Filter OD 5.0 (80mm - 280mm)

£57.00
ASSF: AstroSolar Spotting Scope Filter OD 5.0 (50mm - 150mm)
ASSF: AstroSolar Spotting Scope Filter OD 5.0 (50mm - 150mm)
ASSF: AstroSolar Spotting Scope Filter OD 5.0 (50mm - 150mm)
ASSF: AstroSolar Spotting Scope Filter OD 5.0 (50mm - 150mm)

Baader ASSF: AstroSolar Spotting Scope Filter OD 5.0 (50mm - 150mm)

£31.00
Baader ASBF: AstroSolar Binocular Filter OD 5.0 (50mm - 100mm)
Baader ASBF: AstroSolar Binocular Filter OD 5.0 (50mm - 100mm)
Baader ASBF: AstroSolar Binocular Filter OD 5.0 (50mm - 100mm)
Baader ASBF: AstroSolar Binocular Filter OD 5.0 (50mm - 100mm)

Baader ASBF: AstroSolar Binocular Filter OD 5.0 (50mm - 100mm)

£30.00
Baader BDSF: OD 3.8 Digital Solar Filter 80mm
Baader BDSF: OD 3.8 Digital Solar Filter 80mm
Baader BDSF: OD 3.8 Digital Solar Filter 80mm
Baader BDSF: OD 3.8 Digital Solar Filter 80mm
Baader BDSF: OD 3.8 Digital Solar Filter 80mm

Baader BDSF: OD 3.8 Digital Solar Filter

£72.00
Baader AstroSolar Photo Film OD 3.8, 20x30  cm
Baader AstroSolar Photo Film OD 3.8, 20x30  cm

Baader AstroSolar Photo Film OD 3.8, 20x30 cm

£25.00
Baader AstroSolar® ECO-size Safety Film 5.0, 140x155mm
Baader AstroSolar® ECO-size Safety Film 5.0, 140x155mm
Baader AstroSolar® ECO-size Safety Film 5.0, 140x155mm

Baader AstroSolar ECO-size Safety Film 5.0, 140x155mm

£11.50
Baader AstroSolar® Safety Film 5.0, 20x29cm
Baader AstroSolar® Safety Film 5.0, 20x29cm

Baader AstroSolar Safety Film 5.0, 20x29cm

£22.00
Baader AstroSolar® Safety Film 5.0, Giant 117x117cm
Baader AstroSolar® Safety Film 5.0, Giant 117x117cm
Baader AstroSolar® Safety Film 5.0, Giant 117x117cm

Baader AstroSolar Safety Film 5.0, Giant 117x117cm

£239.00

Baader filters to help with Solar viewing or imaging

These filter accessories can help enhance your viewing or imaging of our Sun. They are only to be used with either the Baader AstroSolar film, ready-made AstroSolar filters or the Baader Herschel wedge. They must not be used on their own. Please refer to their instructions for use or please contact us if you need further information or advice if you are unsure.

Baader 1.25
Baader 1.25
Baader 1.25

Baader 1.25" Double Stacked Solar Continuum Filter with Baader ND3.8 AstroSolar Film

£149.00
Baader Double Polarising Filters
Baader Double Polarising Filters

Baader Double Polarising Filters

£63.00
Baader Double Stacked K-Line 1.25
Baader Double Stacked K-Line 1.25
Baader Double Stacked K-Line 1.25
Baader Double Stacked K-Line 1.25
Baader Double Stacked K-Line 1.25

Baader Double Stacked K-Line 1.25" Filter with Baader ND3.8 AstroSolar Film

£259.00
Baader Neutral Density Filters
Baader Neutral Density Filters

Baader Neutral Density Filters

£37.00
Baader Single Polarising Filters
Baader Single Polarising Filters

Baader Single Polarising Filters

£35.00
Baader Solar Continuum Filter
Baader Solar Continuum Filter
Baader Solar Continuum Filter
Baader Solar Continuum Filter
Baader Solar Continuum Filter

Baader Solar Continuum Filter

£70.00

Baader Cool Ceramic Herschel Wedge

The Baader Herschel Wedge allows sharp Solar observation or photography in white light. A special heat absorbing ceramic plate – similar to the space shuttle heat tiles – on the rear of the unit traps radiant heat without heating the surrounding housing. It also acts as a useful “Solar finder” too.

Baader Safety CoolCeramic 2
Baader Safety CoolCeramic 2
Baader Safety CoolCeramic 2
Baader Safety CoolCeramic 2
Baader Safety CoolCeramic 2
Baader Safety CoolCeramic 2
Baader Safety CoolCeramic 2

Baader Safety CoolCeramic 2" Herschel Prism

£420.00
Storage Case for Baader 2
Storage Case for Baader 2

Storage Case for Baader 2" Cool-Ceramic Safety Herschel Prism (Visual / Photographic)

£37.00

Solar Imaging

With a suitable Solar safety accessory in place, why not record images of the Sun quickly and easily with your smartphone using the Celestron NexYZ adaptor or compact camera using the quick and easy to use Baader Microstage II Digiscoping adaptor.

Celestron NexYZ 3-Axis Universal Smartphone Adaptor
Celestron NexYZ 3-Axis Universal Smartphone Adaptor
Celestron NexYZ 3-Axis Universal Smartphone Adaptor with smartphone (not included)
Celestron NexYZ 3-Axis Universal Smartphone Adaptor with smartphone (not included)
Celestron NexYZ 3-Axis Universal Smartphone Adaptor with smartphone (not included) - side view
Celestron NexYZ 3-Axis Universal Smartphone Adaptor - side view
Celestron NexYZ 3-Axis Universal Smartphone Adaptor with attachments
Celestron NexYZ 3-Axis Universal Smartphone Adaptor - side view
Celestron NexYZ 3-Axis Universal Smartphone Adaptor with smartphone (not included) attached to a Celestron Nexstar telescope
Celestron NexYZ 3-Axis Universal Smartphone Adaptor with smartphone (not included) attached to a Celestron spotting scope
Celestron NexYZ 3-Axis Universal Smartphone Adaptor with smartphone (not included) attached to a pair of Celestron binoculars
Celestron NexYZ 3-Axis Universal Smartphone Adaptor with smartphone (not included) attached to a Celestron Microscope

Celestron NexYZ 3-Axis Universal Smartphone Adaptor

£49.00
Baader Microstage II Digiscoping Adapter
Baader Microstage II Digiscoping Adapter
Baader Microstage II Digiscoping Adapter
Baader Microstage II Digiscoping Adapter
Baader Microstage II Digiscoping Adapter

Baader Microstage II Digiscoping Adapter

£40.00

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