A Buying Guide for Solar and Solar Eclipse Viewing - Trust Me Shops

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A Buying Guide for Solar and Solar Eclipse Viewing

A Buying Guide for Solar and Solar Eclipse Viewing

B&H explora - All posts
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Our sun, the star at the center of our Solar System, is a fantastic subject for both viewing and photographing and humans have been viewing it since the beginning of time. A special form of solar viewing is the solar eclipse. There are few experiences in nature as awe inspiring as an eclipse—solar or lunar—when the Earth, sun, and moon align. If you want to observe and study the sun, B&H has what you need to do it safely and do it well.

Why Solar Observing?

First of all, the sun is ALWAYS there. Every day. Guaranteed. Other celestial bodies, such as planets or meteor showers, or even the phase of the moon, come and go in cycles—some can require months or years of waiting. Not the sun. The sun rises every morning. Next is the convenience: Conventional astronomy requires you to stay up late, throwing your sleep cycles off, especially, as just mentioned, if you’ve been waiting years for an event. Finally, the views: Since solar observing has typically been relegated to a very niche market, there aren’t a lot of people who truly understand incredible views. From the chromosphere, corona, and coronal mass ejections, to sunspots, flares, and filaments, the sun offers amazing things to experience.

Before we get to the gear, I feel the need for a disclaimer. NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN WITHOUT CERTIFIED SOLAR VIEWING INSTRUMENTS. I know it might sound like a trope but looking at the sun for even a second will (not might—WILL) cause irreparable harm up to and including blindness. Extreme caution must be observed, especially when observing with children. For more safety information, please read this article.

Now, on to the gear. For the scope of this piece, we’re going to go in order, from the most basic all the way up to research-grade gear for observing our closest star.

Shades, Goggles, and Binoculars

The most basic piece of solar observing equipment is the solar shade. Made of heavy-stock paper or cardboard, the “lens” is mylar, which blocks more than 99.99% of visible light plus UV and IR.

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