Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Venus Transit Preps with a Seymour Solar Filter

It was a delightful 78 degrees at 2 a.m. this morning when I walked the perimeter with Charlie, our director of security. The Milky Way was directly overhead, stretching from Cassiopeia to the tail of Scorpius. A fine morning to set up the scope. But I had bigger fish to fry than the few shots I took of the Dumbbell Nebula in the Swan Constellation. (Star trails, which means my alignment sucked, so no pics to post.)
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I kept the scope out even after the sun came up, because I wanted to take my first pictures of the sun. I did a rough alignment to the north, which started the motors to humming, then I patiently waited for the sun to rise above one of our trees.
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Yesterday's mail brought our solar filter for the scope. It's a Seymour Solar Glass-type filter that goes over the front of the scope.
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The filter looks like a mirror. It's a thin glass, very lightweight, and the whole filter is well-made.
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OK, so here's one of my first shots. Click on the picture to embignify. You can see some spots, but no flares. This shot was taken through the Orion 80mm scope as a prime-focus lens for a Nikon D3000. ISO 100, at 1/25 second shutter speed. Because I took this pic in raw, not jpg, I had to convert it in Nikon's Capture NX2. I did just a little cropping but no other extraordinary measures.

Posted by Dave

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