Total Solar Eclipse 2024 Community of Practice

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  • 1.  Solar Telescope

    Posted 01-20-2024 11:32
    Hello everyone!

    My museum is looking for recommendations for purchasing a telescope for the eclipse. Fingers crossed the weather will allow us to use it. I was thinking of going digital so that I could project it to a monitor. I am, however, woefully ignorant!

    Many thanks in advance,

    Janna Bennett

    --
    Carnegie Museum of Montgomery County
    222 S Washington Street
    Crawfordsville, IN 47933
    765-362-4622


  • 2.  RE: Solar Telescope

    Posted 22 days ago

    Hi Janna,

    As someone who is also woefully ignorant about telescope operation, this is what I learned while prototyping experiences during the October eclipse:

    It's a lot harder to locate the sun with a telescope than you think. You can't look directly at the sun to try to site it. It moves, so you have to either have a tracking telescope or manually move it. It takes some figuring to find a scope with the right barrel length so you can get the whole sun, including the corona, in view. We worked with the local Astronomical Society to manage a telescope, and I highly recommend using folks who work with telescopes regularly to manage a telescope. We purchased them an eyepiece camera insert so we could run a live feed. 

    If you want visitors to view the eclipse non-digitally, I recommend using sunspotters, which are easily adjustable and create a projection of the eclipse. They are much more expensive than a cheap telescope but infinitely easier to manage. We also landed on binoculars with solar filters (brand-name sunoculars come with builtin filters) as the easiest magnified view of the sun for visitors as it is much easier to find the sun this way.

    Best,

    Nina



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    Nina Ridhibhinyo
    Director of Programs & Exhibits
    ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain
    Burlington VT
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  • 3.  RE: Solar Telescope

    Posted 22 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your experiences Nina!

    Janna






  • 4.  RE: Solar Telescope

    Posted 21 days ago

    Hi Janna,

    I recommend building one Sun Funnel per telescope and then having a feed pointed at the projection. It should be an easier set up. If you're looking at telescopes, be sure to order your filters for them asap.

    Thanks,

    Dan



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    Daniel Schneiderman
    Eclipse Partnerships Coordinator
    Rochester Museum & Science Center
    Rochester NY
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