Monday, 9 May 2011

Solar Observing ..Maidenhall car park ..Newgale.

I'm happy to report the weather behaved itself yesterday.

We arrived early and having made sure to pack the car with all the equipment I needed, I began  confidently to assemble the scopes.

Just one problem.....I had forgotten one "minor" item...the actual sun filter!!! ...

Luckily we only live 3 miles from Newgale so Helen was able to quickly go home and pick it up.

It wasn't long before Phil, a member of the Preseli Astronomy & Science Group arrived.
This was our first meeting, we had talked via the PASG forum, on several occassions. It was great to finally meet up.

Phil arrived armed with two refractors ...

A  meade 70mm was to be his main solar scope...and it proved to be a good choice for solar work...infact it  had the edge over my Tal reflector.

We carried out a few tests with each scope... Refractor Vs Reflector..

There did seem to be slightly better contrast with the refractor.

Such a portable refractor is ideally be suited for solar work out and about.

Once I find a decent donor refractor I'll make myself a "mobile solar scope" and keep it in the car.

During one session the dust cap for the eyepiece on my scope inadvertently  moved into direct focus of the suns rays ...only 2 second maximum ...but it was enough time to melt a sizeable hole in the plastic dustcap.
Always goes to show that even though great care is taken....respect of the Sun is paramount.....

Please always observe safely and carefully!!!

A couple of passers by took an interest in our observing, and were impressed by the sunspots they could see. Mention was made by one visitor of the wonderful late Summer Moon rises over Simpson viewed from Roch....

Maybe a visit to Roch in August/September is in order.... I know a good spot...up by the bottle recycling point, good parking a picnic area, and wonderful almost 360 degree views....

Perhaps I'll pencil that one in now.....

The weather behaved itself throughout yesterdays session. There was quite a bit of wind to begin with, but thankfully that eased off as the afternoon progressed.

The observing session was to be 2 hours between 2.00pm and 4.00pm , but thanks to the good company, the session was extended to 6.00pm .

This is the first public solar observing session I have attended...and it won't be the last....great fun!!!

Here's to a wonderful Summer....

Clear Skies 


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