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Equipment Used for our Solar Observations

Alex Nichols

Alex Nichols

For this project the use of the 12-inch LX200GPS Meade telescope and the Short Tube 80 Refractor Orion telescope, situated in the dome on top of the 5th floor of the department, was required. In addition to this, and vital to the project, is the Coronado Solarmax 40 H-alpha filter. In this section the use and set up of the equipment will be detailed. To start off any one solar observation session, all of the equipment mentioned above has to be correctly set up. Firstly, the lens cap of the Orion spotter refractor is taken off and replaced by an adapter that slides onto the end of the telescope and is secured by the tightening of three screw pins. The adapter has been specially made to accommodate the attachment of the H-alpha filter and the tuner (called a Solmates T-max tuner) that goes with it. The tuner fixes to the adapter and the H-alpha filter, onto the tuner.

Coronado Solar Max tuner and filter

Coronado Solar Max tuner and filter.

The tuner itself comprises of two metal rings that can be levered apart by a turning knob at one side. Because one ring is attached to the telescope and one to the filter, as it is levered apart it causes a tilting of the filter and hence shifts the narrow band pass, of the filter, to accommodate slightly shorter wavelengths. It enables the filter to pick out higher velocity solar activities such as CME's and flares which, as a consequence of their accelerated movement are Doppler shifted towards the blue end of the electromagnetic spectrum.


Astronomy Now magazine

The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the Sun by K Lang

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