With the Mercury Transit coming Monday I’ve been reading lists of posts on StarGazers Lounge and Cloudy nights. They all have lots of people warning to be careful! Biggest thing, cover the finder scope! I’ve still got the red covers that came with mine. They will surely be in place.
Here’s a great video regarding what can happen if you use an eye piece filter. The best way to go is to filter the very front of the telescope. For me I went with the AstroZap 1001 (110-120mm) Baader Filter to cover the front of my Televue 85. I fit checked it yesterday, and it fit perfectly.
Another safety aspect I’ve read is don’t leave your scope unattended. It’s a long time, the transit. From 7-3. When not in use, like when you’re eating lunch, point the scope away from the sun or take the scope off the tripod. Or tailgate at the scope- I kind like that one! Make it fun!!
How to capture it? Well I’m just starting out and figure I will just sketch it and keep that as my memory.
So to summarize the safety:
- Filter the end of your scope, not the eyepiece.
- Use only filters designed Specifically for Solar observations.
- Be very Leary of homemade contraptions. Check and re-check them.
- NEVER leave your scope unattended especially around kids!
- Completely cover your finder scope so you are not tempted in anyway to look through it- Human Nature you are fighting here!
I plan on bringing some Nuclear Power into the session with a pre-job brief. That way we all know ahead of time the dangers and precautions to take.
That’s all for now-