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Everything You Need for the Solar Eclipse

July 7 2017, Joshua Taboga

The big moment inches ever closer.  On the 21st of August, 2017 millions of people in the USA will witness a total solar eclipse.  The event of the decade will soon be upon us!  Do you have everything for the “Great American Eclipse”?  Or are a couple things missing from your toolkit?  Check out our list below of necessary and useful products.

1. The Most Important: Solar Eclipse Glasses

Experience the eclipse in the simplest of ways, with Omegon SunSafe Solar Eclipse Glasses.  The glasses give you the ability to safely and comfortably look at the Sun.

Omegon's Solar Eclipse glasses allow you to safely view the elcipse.

Omegon’s Solar Eclipse glasses allow you to safely view the elcipse.

•    Orange, natural image of the Sun
•    Optimal for solar observations, including viewing sunspots and eclipses
•    Completely Safe: SunSafe material certified according to ISO guidelines
•    One size fits all
•    Harmful sun rays blocked by a factor of 100,000
•    Optical density – at least ND5

Price: one set $2.90 (£ 2.90), 5 pack $9.90 (£ 8.90)
Omegon Solar Eclipse Glasses

Alternatively, Baader offers Solar Eclipse Glasses – Solar Viewer AstroSolar® Silver/Gold. The glasses provide 100% safety and the Sun will appear blue/white.

Baader Solar Eclipse Glasses with AstroSolar film

Baader Solar Eclipse Glasses with AstroSolar film

Price: $3.50 (£ 3.90), set $29.00 (£ 25.90)
See Baader Solar Eclipse Glasses

Warning: These glasses are to be exclusively used for visual observations.  Do not use them in combination with an optical instrument.

2. Solar filter for Your Telescope

Frameless film filters

A classic for fans of solar observation is the Astrosolar Solar Filter film.  Being somewhat of an art and craft situation, users can build their own filter frame.  The advantage is the cheap price and variety of sizes available.  Most buy the small 20cm x 29cm or the large 50cm x 100cm.

In the special case for astrophotographers, a photo film with the optical density of 3.8 affords the user the possibility of using short exposure times.  Put simply, this filter allows only 0.016% of light through – perfectly fine for photography, but still too much for the naked eye.  For visual observations, you should consider adding a ND 2.0 Filter or simply using a film made for visual purposes.

Baader Solar Eclipse Glasses with AstroSolar film

Baader Solar Eclipse Glasses with AstroSolar film

Warning: Always place the film in front of the optics and not behind.

Price: 20x29cm  $ 25.00(£ 22.90), 50x100cm $ 75.00 (£ 67.00)
See Baader Astrosolar Solor Filter Film

Framed Filter for Telescopes

The manufacturer Baader has come up with an elegant solution for telescopes: the ASTF Sonnenfilter. This filter is suitable for telescopes from 70mm to 290mm diameter. Three centering pins affix the filter inside or outside of the tube. An overview, which filter best suites your telescope, is available here: Filter Finder Tool.

ASTF Filter mounted on a Schmidt-Cassergrain Telescope

ASTF Filter mounted on a Schmidt-Cassergrain Telescope

Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 80mm Article-Nr.: 46632
Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 100mm Article-Nr.: 46633
Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 120mm Article-Nr.: 46634
Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 140mm Article-Nr.: 46635
Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 160mm Article-Nr.: 46636
Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 180mm Article-Nr.: 46637
Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 200mm Article-Nr.: 46638
Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 240mm Article-Nr.: 46639
Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 280mm Article-Nr.: 46640

 

Filter for Binoculars

Even with binoculars, a solar eclipse can have quite an fantastic effect.  The best thing is that a smaller pair of binoculars easily fit into a suitcase.  Our special binocular filters are flat on one side, allowing your binoculars to remain fully functional.  Available for 40mm to 110mm.

Baader ASBF Filter for Binoculars and Cameras

Baader ASBF Filter for Binoculars and Cameras

Baader ASBF Filter for Binoculars and Cameras

By the way: These filters are great for camera lenses.

Baader AstroSolar Binocular Solar Filter ASBF 50mm Article-Nr.: 46641
Baader AstroSolar Binocular Solar Filter ASBF 60mm Article-Nr.: 46642
Baader AstroSolar Binocular Solar Filter ASBF 70mm Article-Nr.: 46665
Baader AstroSolar Binocular Solar Filter ASBF 80mm Article-Nr.: 46667
Baader AstroSolar Binocular Solar Filter ASBF 100mm Article-Nr.: 46668

 

3. Solar Prisms: The Better Choice?

Many have already heard.  Aside from solar filters, solar prisms are also available.  However, are they a true alternative?  Most definitely – if your goal is detail solar observation – but only for refractors up to 150mm (no reflector telescopes)

In comparison to a lens filter, the Herschel Wedge offers a clear, contrast-rich image of the sun.  Advanced solar observers swear on it.  With a Herschel Wedge, you will see the finest details, whether a granulation or structures surrounding a sunspot.

A Herschel Wedge creates a wonderfully contrast-rich image of the Sun.

A Herschel Wedge creates a wonderfully contrast-rich image of the Sun.

Tip: While observing with a Herschel Wedge, a ND 3.0 and a variable gray filter are requisite.

APM 1.25″ solar prism / Herschel wedge Article-Nr.: 18916
Baader OD 3,0 ND Filter 1,25“ Article-Nr.: 10885
Omegon Variabler Gray filter 1,25″ Article-Nr.: 7399
Baader Cool-Ceramic Safety Herschel prism V visual, 2″ Article-Nr.: 16816

4. The Sun in H-Alpha Light

Images of a solar eclipse in H-Alpha are unusual and create a lot of attention.  Photos of partial phases with protuberances and spots and flares are simply appealing to the eye.  The Quark Solar Filter from Daystar transforms your refractor into a bonafide solar telescope that shows you the sun in H-Alpha light.  Now would be the best opportunity to turn a dream into reality.

QUARK Protuberance Filter: Transform your refractor into an H-Alpha telescope.

QUARK Protuberance Filter: Transform your refractor into an H-Alpha telescope.

DayStar Solar Filter QUARK H-Alpha, Protuberance Article-Nr.: 44774
DayStar Solar Filter Combo QUARK H-Alpha, Chromosphere Article-Nr.: 48679

 

 

Imaged with the Omegon ED80 Apo and a Daystar Quark, Photo: Carlos Malagón

Imaged with the Omegon ED80 Apo and a Daystar Quark, Photo: Carlos Malagón

5. Small Scopes and Mounts for the Road

For those traveling by plane probably need to limit their baggage.  The nice thing about the eclipse is that you don’t need a large instrument.  A small Apochromat and a compact mount will suffice.

Tracking, Autoguiding or Time Lapse are all a possibility.

The iOptron Mount SkyTracker Pro is popular on astro-trips and weighs only 1.1kg.

The iOptron Mount SkyTracker Pro is popular on astro-trips and weighs only 1.1kg.

The mounts available range from a mechanical AZ Mini Mount to the heavy duty Cube Mount with a Go-to System:

iOptron Mount SkyTracker Pro Article-Nr.: 51870
Skywatcher Mount Star Adventurer, Set Article-Nr.: 45119
Omegon Mount AZ-Baby Article-Nr.: 49753
Omegon Tripod ball-head Pro OM20 Article-Nr.: 33149
Omegon Pro carbon-fibre tripod Article Mount-Nr.: 33146

 

6. Books about the Sun

A clear-as-day and basic entry into the topic can be found in the book Your Guide to the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse, Springer Verlag.

PS: Be sure to get what you need for the solar eclipse today, to ensure that your trip is an unforgetable experience.

Solar Eclipse 2017 USA: What to know

July 6 2017, Joshua Taboga

Something impressive will move in front of the Sun and obscure our star.  The Sun’s rays will disappear, shadows will change, the temperature will drop and the stars will shine brightly in the middle of the day.  A wind will come up and the animal would will be strangely still.

Earlier peoples felt fear.  The Chinese thought a giant dragon swallowed the Sun.  Only with a roar and bellowing was the dragon forced to spit the Sun out again.  Indeed, the idea is eerie, not knowing what exactly is going on… of course, was the event we call a solar eclipse.

Solar Eclipse fans have long known: on August 21st, 2017, a total solar eclipse will take place from coast to coast across the USA.  A once in a lifetime experience, which many people are longing for.

All the important info and numbers, as well as what a solar eclipse looks like, can be found below in this article.

Solar eclipse Slider EN

Data Compact: The Great American Solar Eclipse 2017

The total solar eclipse will stretch from the Pacific, across North America, to the Atlantic.  Most interesting will be the population centers, because the eclipse’s path will traverse not only desolate deserts, but also cities and towns.  Across the American continent, the thin path of totality at a width of 115 km or 71.5 miles will stretch across 14 U.S. states.  On the day of the 21st of August, millions of people will experience the eclipse first hand, lasting a total of 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

The partial phases of the eclipse will be visible north and south of the path of totality throughout the entirety of the USA.  Partiality will stretch north through Canada and south through Mexico as well as northern South America.
Of special note: The Americans have already termed this solar eclipse the “Great American Eclipse”.

© NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

© NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

What is a Total Solar Eclipse?

An interesting coincidence: the Sun is around 400 times larger than the Moon, but is also 400 times further away from the Earth than the Moon.  That means, the Moon and Sun appear to have the same diameter in the sky.  Such a lucky coincidence, since it makes a solar eclipse possible in the first place, allowing the Moon to completely obscure the Moon.  Were the Moon a bit smaller or further from the Earth, we would never have the pleasure of witnessing a total solar eclipse.  The result would be a ring of fire eclipse, although that is a story for another time.

As the New Moon moves in front of the Sun’s disk and covers it, a shadow will fall onto a slim are of the Earth and darkens the stretch of land.  This region then experiences a total solar eclipse!  On the outside of this region, the Sun will only be partially eclipsed, meaning the Moon will only cover part of the Sun.

A solar eclipse can only occur, while the Moon is in the “new” phase, as the Sun and Moon find themselves in a nodal point.

Sonnenfinsternis Schema

Of course, we have a New Moon every month, but not a solar eclipse.  Why?  The Moon actually orbits the Earth at 5° degree deviation from the ecliptic.  Most often the New Moon moves past, above or below, the Sun, resulting in no eclipse.

However, returning to the dragon swallowing the Sun.  The point of intersection, where the Moon and ecliptic cross.  When the New Moon and Sun by chance meet at this point of intersection, the Moon no longer moves past the sun, but obscures it.  The then becomes black and the corona majestically lights up behind it.

Then a very long, round but sharp moving shadow falls upon the Earth, which can be a maximum of 273 km or 170 miles wide.  The totality, meaning the complete covering of the Sun, can last a maximum of 7.5 minutes.  Most of the time, we don’t get to experience such ideal circumstances.  In the case of the USA, the shadow is only 115 km or 71.5 miles and last a total 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

How Will the Eclipse Happen?

The path of the eclipse will pass across the middle of the USA.  More precisely, through the states of Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.  The beginning will take place in Oregon.  At 10:16 AM PDT (Pacific Daylight Time), the first people will witness the total phase.  In the Oregonian capital of Salem, the eclipse will last a maximum of 1 minute and 58 seconds.

From there, it will proceed to Idaho and then Wyoming – the Cowboy State.  In Casper, the event will occur at 11:43 AM MDT and will last 2 minutes and 27 seconds.  The weather there August is very often clear and sunny.  The further one travels east from there, the higher the chance of cloud cover.  In Kentucky, the length of totality will reach its height at 2 minutes and 40 seconds.  At 2:42 EDT, the shadow of the eclipse will reach South Carolina.  After that, the shadow will jet off over the Atlantic towards Africa and Europe.

"Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, www.EclipseWise.com"

“Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, www.EclipseWise.com”

From West to East in 1.5 Hours

The core shadow will race across the American continent at a speed of 4,260 kmh or 2,647 mph, which is approximately double the speed of a modern day fighter jet. Altogether, the shadow will traverse more than 4,000 km or 2,500 miles of North America over a period of 1.5 hours, totaling about three hours of eclipse, from first to last contact.

Only with Eye Protection

Perhaps, you have already long had plans to travel to a specific spot in the USA and witness the total eclipse. Supposedly, the number of people experiencing the eclipse will reach around 7.4 million people. What is of utmost importance is to protect your eyes!

Never look directly at the Sun without protection!  Solar Eclipse glasses are a must, to adequately protect your eyes. Should you decide to travel to a spot in the USA to see the eclipse, we recommend Omegon’s certified Solar Eclipse Glasses.

Similarly, a solar filter is also must for a telescope. A large selection of filters are available here.

If you cannot follow this event at location, you can access NASA’s live stream.

Interesting Links:

Solar Eclipse Site NASA: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov

Solar Eclipse in the Rocky Mountains with Wyoming Stargazing

July 4 2017, Joshua Taboga

If you are contemplating traveling to the USA for the Total Solar Eclipse on August 21st, check out Wyoming Stargazing, a non-profit organization aspiring to “educate and inspire through Wyoming’s extraordinary skies”.

logo    logo

The organization, based in Jackson, Wyoming, was founded by local Jackson resident, Dr. Samuel Singer, as a way to further stoke the interest of exploring “the extraordinary in the ordinary”.  Indeed, the night sky may seem just ordinary to many people, but from the standpoint just above beautiful Jackson, peering beyond our own world offers a glimpse of what was, is and will be awe-inspiring, while offering a large dose of perspective to our every day lives.  We are but a small part of the Universe – a fact that makes our world, teeming with life, all the more special and amazing.  To learn more about what Wyoming Stargazing stands for and aspires to achieve, check out their website here.

Eclipse 2017

home-banner

Wyoming Stargazing is holding a two-day, pre-eclipse event on the summit of Snow King, just above Jackson.   If you are interested in participating or simply making yourself wise to the events in the area, click the image above.

For basic info about the solar eclipse, as well as a map of the eclipse’s path across the United States, see Wyoming Stargazing’s 2017 Solar Eclipse page.  The organization has also started a Solar Eclipse blog, entitled “100 Days until Totality Blog“, offering history, tid-bids and interesting facts about past eclipses, and of course the upcoming eclipse in two month’s time.

If you happen to be in the neighborhood, stop by Jackson!  Come for the sights!  Stay for big wonderful Wyoming!

TAKEAWAYS FROM ASTROFEST 2017 IN LONDON

February 14 2017, Joshua Taboga

Astrofest-headline-pictureThis past Friday and Saturday, we had the pleasure of partaking in AstroFest 2017.  Over two days we made many new friends, saw old friends, and overall enjoyed the atmosphere of the show with numerous astro-fans and experts.

Astrofest 2017 - Stand 2

We brought along a few of our more impressive refractor telescopes, including the Apo Triplet and stargazing binos for our advanced astronomers!

Astrofest 2017 - Telescopes

As always, AstroFest featured a number of interesting presentations on the amazing advancements and progress in the fields of Astronomy and Astrophysics!

Astrofest 2017 - Conference

We were also happy to be in the presence of the great Brian May, astrophysicist and former lead guitarist of Queen, as he spent time speaking with fans at the London Stereoscopic Company stand.

Astrofest 2017 - May and London Stereoscopic

We also got in on the action…

Astrofest 2017 - Pedro and May

Astrofest 2017 - Carlos and May

All together, it was an exciting weekend and a great experience.  If you haven’t been to AstroFest before, we can only recommend it!  Plan to be there next year, as it takes place during the first half of February, to take part in all the excitement!  We will be there!  Will you?

Image: europeanastrofest.com, Astroshop.eu

AstroFest 2017 in London!

February 1 2017, Joshua Taboga

Calling all Astronomy Fans and aficionados! On the 10th and 11th of February the Universe comes to London!  

The European AstroFest 2017 will take place in Kensington, London on the 10th and 11th of February and Astroshop, as well as Omegon and Universe2go, will be there ready to discuss the cosmos with you and show you all the ways you can explore the heavens. We’ll be exhibiting several of our Omegon Pro telescopes and accessories, along with our awesome and innovative Universe2go augmented-reality star viewer!AstroFest London2_neu (1)

“European AstroFest is the world’s premier space conference and exhibition, bringing together the professional and amateur communities.” This year’s expo will feature experts discussing exciting space developments and exhibitors showing their gear, which you can use to observe the cosmos!  Tickets start at £22.50 and more info can be found here.

See you there!

17.10.2019
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