View Full Version : Pls. help scope beginner with sun-viewing questions (not me)

2003-Aug-17, 02:07 AM
Somebody else--someone from an "alternative" MB who finally went out and bought himself a telescope to look for Planet X for himself.

So, please, no ridicule, just helpful responses to tell him what he's seeing. I will forward helpful responses to his thread over there. (I see no reason to link to it, thus laying him open to unwanted potential trollish ridicule. We live in an ugly Internet world. [sigh])

Substance of complaint follows (comprises three posts).

I went to a hobby shop today and brought outside one of their telescopes and put a solar filter on it. This telescope wasn't a very powerful scope I think the magnification was only about 90 times. Well anyway we all saw a dark spot with many other spots following it going up. This was in the 7 to 8 oclock position. It did resemble a snake. The hobby store thought it was realy cool but they weren't sure what it was. I went home and took out my telescope and put my homemaid solar filter on it and could also see it there. Its realy obvious and you can view it at any time. Some are perfect circles others look like lots of debris.

Are these solar flares or the infamous PX? After looking at photos of objects in an astronomy magazine it looks like objects or planets rather then solar flares because of the sharp lines circuling perfectly round spheres. Another odd thing I noticed is that Starhopper posted a picture in the SOHO pictures and raw data area that has a rectangular blackened out area located in the almost exact position where these objects are. Makes me wonder. I bought solar filter material for 20 bucks from an astronomy store and it comes with instructions on how to make a frame for it.

I read that emergency blanket material doesn't give quite as good of a picture but can be used as a filter. Some solar filters are made from emergency blankets these are called mylar solar filters.

I tryed using binoculars with the solar filter over it at a magnification of 10x and I could not see it. I found it takes some patience in focusing in these objects with a cheap junky scope like I have at home. With a good scope like I used at the Hobby Store it is extremely obvious and pops right out at you. I'm going to return my telescope for a better one.

I'm right now using a Meade Telestar 6 inch reflector telescope from Walmart. I do not recomend this telescope you can find much higher quality scopes from Orion at a Hobby or Optical store that costs less.
Anyway, does anyone even have a cheap telescope out there with a solar filter either bought or homemaid that can verify this? It does not disapear and reapear nor do you need to view it at any specific times. Its just there.


I checked with this website http://www.spacew.com that gives current SOHO pictures and these objects are not on these solar flare pictures but are there when you look at it with a telescope.


I checked my astronomy program and there is no planets between us and the sun.

BTW as the Earth turns so does our view of the sun. At sundown now it is in the 11 oclock position through my telescope which inverses the image. So if your telescope does not inverse the image then it will be in a different position.

I magnified it as much as I could with my hunk-o-junk (244 times) and the objects seem to be reddish and globular.

Sorry, I can't take photos through this one but maybe when I get my new telescope I could. This one is just a Walmart brand that I overpaid for. Definately do not get this telescope. If I had the one that was at the Hobby Store that cost less then my Walmart one I would be able to get great details.
My first instinct would be to tell him that he's seeing sunspots, but I wasn't sure (why wouldn't the hobby shop know that, and tell him?), so I came over here.

2003-Aug-17, 02:20 AM
My first instinct would be to tell him that he's seeing sunspots, but I wasn't sure (why wouldn't the hobby shop know that, and tell him?), so I came over here.
Hobby shops...ptui.

spaceweather.com (http://science.nasa.gov/spaceweather/images2003/16aug03/midi512_blank.gif) has an image of sunspot 431--it looks a lot like what your friend described, and a couple days ago, it was in the right position. Show 'em that picture and see if they recognize it.

Today's report (http://www.sec.noaa.gov/ftpdir/forecasts/SRS/0816SRS.txt) shows it to be of size 470--pretty big. We all ought to take a look.