Last updated: 7 April 2005

Subject:	Friday's Solar Eclilpse....SAFE observing
Sent:	Tuesday, April 5, 2005 14:57:09
From:	P. Clay Sherrod (drclay@tcworks.net)
Many of you will be conducting viewing groups, both large and small, for
Friday, April 8's partial solar eclipse.  I have compiled a brief
overview of the tried and true SAFE methods for showing the eclipse to
groups as a reminder that each of us is responsible when we demonstrate
the sun to others.

You can find this posting on the Arkansas Sky Observatory (http://www.arksky.org/ )
website under "Current News".

Enjoy and share your knowledge with others this Friday!

Dr. Clay
Arkansas Sky Observatories
Harvard MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain)
Harvard MPC H45 (Petit Jean Mountain South)
Harvard MPC H43 (Conway)
Harvard MPC H44 (Cascade Mountain)
Mike here: Good article. It is worth noting that the ETX models should not be used for Optical Projection; the plastics will melt!

And from Dr. Clay:

Great point....

Subject:	Using your scope to view the sun
Sent:	Wednesday, November 24, 2004 02:20:41
From:	Schlatter (rosenjoe@charter.net)
Occasionally someone submits a question about solar filters to Mike's
site and he responds with the warning that you MUST use a solar filter
on your scope before trying to view the sun.

There is one more warning that is just as important:  When viewing the

If the finder scope is uncovered, it will look directly at the sun, the
light from the sun will be concentrated into the finder scope, and the
finder scope will be burned out almost instantly.  And, if you look
through the finder scope, you will lose your eye.
To view the sun:
1.  Remove the lens cap from the scope.
2.  Put the solar filter onto the scope.
3.  Check the finder scope -- make certain the cap is on the front lens
    of the finder scope.
4.  Now it's safe to find the sun.

Joe S.
Mike here: Good point. I made a small cap for mine that is in the case with the Solar Filter. That way I never forget to put it on.
Subject:	Sun warning
Sent:	Wednesday, February 12, 2003 13:06:53
From:	mail@markbb.co.uk (Mark Bosanquet-Bryant)

Hello Mike,

I have just bought your book Using the Meade ETX and am I glad I did. I
was unsure I really needed to then I read about melting plastic parts in
the OTA if viewing the Sun.

I have projected sun through spotting scopes and thought my new ETX 125
would give a better image. I know it gives dangers everywhere...the SUN
WARNING (rightly so) but it always refers to eye damage so I thought
projection was ok.

The day I tried it was rather cloudy but I wanted to try the new scope.
Thankfully I did not project much of an image.

Surely Meade should make this clearer that projection can damage the
scope !

Thanks for a great book it's paid for itself already.

Regards, Mark BB

Subject:	Sun Viewing [and WARNING]
Sent:	Sunday, August 5, 2001 12:33:51
From:	NArmstro@cha.ab.ca (Armstrong, Neil)
It seems that the ETX-70AT can't take the solar radiation when pointing
it at the sun. Of course I didn't look at it because it would burn your
eyeball in less than a second.

What I did get when I pointed it at the sun was a perfect image of the
sun on the ceiling. Totally white, you could even see it move as the
earth rotates of course. Really beautiful. Even better image with a 9 mm

Unfortunately while I was admiring this new image on the ceiling, the
telescope was burning. I looked back and "Yikes"! it was smoking.

Fortunately it wasn't for too long. The only thing that melted was the
inside of the optical tube on the 9 mm.

It's still O.K. The black circular border is a little wavey. A reminder
not to do that again.

Live and Learn.

Mike here: Hence the SUN WARNING in the manual, on the top of the telescope tube in front of the eyepiece, and on the Autostar display. I guess Meade did have a good reason to post those warnings. Glad you only damaged the eyepiece. If you want to view the Sun, use a FULL APERTURE solar filter from a reputable source in front of the telescope. See the Accessories - Filters page for some good ones.

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Copyright ©2001, 2003-5 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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