Solar viewing at it's best

The Wsp often affords the astronomer terrific views of the sun. Viewing the sun in high resolution requires very special filters and long focal length instruments.

Jim Sweeney had a wonderful solar viewing setup at wsp and was most gracious in sharing the views. High resolution views of the sun reveal intricate details on the surface as well as prominences that stretch out from the solar disk in wispy detail. These views were some of the finest, if not the finest, i have ever had.

Jim was viewing with a .2 angstrom solar sentinel model 3 filter. The more narrow the filter the more detail one can see on the sun. The ångström is often used in the natural sciences for expressing the sizes of atoms, lengths of chemical bonds and the wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, and in technology for the dimensions of parts of integrated circuits. It is also It is my understanding that many of the most popular commercially available filters can only reach .4 angstroms.

The scope also needs to have a long focal length and large alerture. Jim uses a 7" astro-physics refractor with barlow lenses that effectively yield an f ratio of 22-25.

One of the best benefits in attending a star party is viewing through wonderful instruments that you would not normally get to view through Jim sweeney's solar viewing setup was fantastic and provided views of the sun unlike any I have seen.