Sun Filters – This would have to be the most important subject we will discus on this page. So please after you have read this, I want you to think seriously about what I’m saying here. Your telescope will come with many accessories but the accessory you must avoid is the “Sun Filter” and here is why. The Filter is designed to screw onto your eyepiece so you can view the Sun directly.
Sun Filters – are Extremely Dangerous to Use and one of the reasons why, is that your telescope collects light and heat which causes enormous thermal stresses in an eyepiece. Your eyeball contains no pain nerves, this means when your eyes are burning, which will take only split second you will not feel it until it’s too late.
A 100mm telescope can burn aluminum so if the Sun filter cracks while you’re viewing you won’t stand a chance against permanent eye damage or blinding.
One heartbreaking case I read in the newspaper was about a six year old boy who was watching his father viewing the sun with his telescope. When the father was finished, he packed up his accessories and took them into the house, but by the time he had come back for the telescope it was already too late.
The boy had viewed the sun without the filter. He was rushed to the hospital but there was nothing that could be done for him. He had burnt both eyes and was blinded for life. It had only took a split second to change this little boy’s life for ever. I know that this story has nothing to do with a faulty Sun filter, but you can see how easy it can be for an accident to happen, especially with children around.
There have been many reports of people being blinded due to Sun Filters and until they are banned all over the world there will be many more. Australia, so far, is the only country that has banned Sun Filters from sale. I read a review at cloudy nights by an amateur astronomy.
I was appalled to read his suggestion on how to make your own Sun Filter. It is negligent to one – suggest this to anyone and two – to post this on the internet for all to see. Please, Please, NEVER make your own Sun Filter the risks are too high.
There is only one safe way to view the sun.
- You can project the Suns image onto white paper. Never look through your telescope or viewfinder to align. Also to reduce the thermal stress on your telescope by reducing the aperture – placing a cover over your telescope with a small hole.
I would advise you view the sun by looking at the satellite pictures you can find on the internet and leave viewing the sun to the experts.