Safe Eclipse Viewing

While the total phase of this month’s total solar eclipse can be viewed directly without protection, as soon as the Sun peeks out from behind the Moon you will need a safe way to view the Sun. That means a proper, and safe viewing method.

Partial Solar Eclipse
A partial solar eclipse from Kawaihae, 9 May 2013
I have previously posted on safe viewing of the Sun, discussing both filters and projection methods. It is time to re-post that information!

Safe Solar Viewing

Personally? I will have a small telescope with a filter available for viewing and photography, along with proper solar sunglasses available to monitor the partial phases as the eclipse begins.

Some Chinese Eyepieces

A Celestron FirstScope in need of eyepieces. Time to find a couple inexpensive eyepieces. With the telescope destined for an eight year old girl I really did not expect the eyepieces to live up to any demanding standards. But neither do I want the views to be truly horrible either, it would be nice if the telescope is properly enjoyable.

Chinese Eyepieces
A set of cheap Chinese eyepieces
Thus I went to the source of cheap optics and found a set of Chinese eyepieces on eBay that might just do the job. For $22 they were the right price. The set includes three eyepieces, a 23mm, a 10mm and a 4mm for high power, a nice selection of focal lengths. The right price, but how about image quality?

As the eBay sale is from a US seller the eyepieces arrive in just a few days. Unpacking the eyepieces is the first pleasant surprise… The quality is not bad, metal barrels, decently molded rubber bits, decent looking glass. An ebay sale often a bit of a gamble, but this does not look bad at all.

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A Celestron FirstScope

I tend to end up with telescopes, they just appear on a semi-regular basis, given to me with the instructions to find a home for them. One of the latest additions to Andrew’s Home for Wayward Telescopes (AHWT) was a Celestron FirstScope. It was bequeathed to me by a co-worker moving to the mainland and thus dwelt for a time in my office, there being little room in my garage for yet another telescope.

Celestron FirstScope
A Celestron FirstScope in somewhat larger company
This telescope is now headed to a new home. With Christmas approaching another co-worker asked my opinion in buying a telescope for his eight year old daughter. She had expressed interest and he was wondering what to get. Quick to size an opportunity to divest myself of an unused telescope I let him know I had just the thing! One less mirror to clean. Rob of course was quick to seize on the idea of free.

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