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

  • 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.



    Nina Ridhibhinyo
    Director of Programs & Exhibits
    ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain
    Burlington VT

  • 3.  RE: Solar Telescope

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


  • 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.



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