First Sun Shot

[[ Most recent update, 02 September 2012.  ]]

When I celebrated my 78th birthday (July 2012) my wife , Connie, gave me an Orion Apex 127mm Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope, complete with two spotting scopes, a tripod with a manually operated Alt / Az telescope mount, and miscellaneous other accessories.

The photo below shows the ‘scope set up for viewing out the east patio door. This set-up Is OK for terrestrial viewing, but not at all suitable for viewing the sun, moon, planets, or other objects in the sky.

From inside the house, there is not much to look at with the scope other than rooftops, trees, and the tops of utility poles in the neighborhood.

After a bit of terrestrial viewing, the ‘scope was moved the to the back yard for some sky viewing.

Connie and I enjoyed looking at various things in the sky our first “night out” with the telescope, and decided to try out hand at some astrophotography, beginning with an attempt to photograph sunspots.

We soon found out that looking toward the sun in order to obtain an image and adjust the focus on the telescope REQUIRES some sort of baffle to eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, the GLARE so that the image on the camera display can be seen. this, in addition to the required solar filter for the telescope.

My solution was to fabricate a baffle from a discarded corrugated paper shipping container.

Baffle w Camera

It may not be pretty, but it got the job done, and cost only the time it took to cut a hole and mount the baffle onto the telescope.
The photo shows the home-made glare baffle mounted on the telescope, but no camera attached.

The photo, below, includes the camera.

The photo, below, shows the solar filter in place on the telescope.

Solar Filter in Place png

My first photo of the sun using the Orion Telescope with solar filter and light buffer in place, and the Canon T2i “Rebel” Camera attached instead of the eye-piece.


















This photo shows only two rather ill-defined sunspots. There were additional sunspots clearly shown when viewing the sun directly through the eyepiece (with the solar filter in place, of course) . . .

. . . so, there are issues that must be resolved.

I think the main problem is that I have no way to “snap” a photo remotely, and any touching of the scope or camera causes “jiggle”, which seems to be much worse when using the telescope than with an “ordinary” lens.

There is much to be learned about astrophotography, and I’m working on it …. . . . . . . . . .

Meanwhile, Connie and I are enjoying eyeball viewing of the moon, planets, and interesting things here on this dirt ball we call home – without the camera attached.

The next goal is to get a photo, or two, of the moon.

A remote control for the camera will be on order soon.

– END of First Sun Photo –

About w6bky

Retired 29 May 1987. Now do hobbies: blogging, ham radio, gardening, etc.
This entry was posted in Astronomy, astrophotography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to First Sun Shot

  1. miles keenan says:

    i know its a temptation to try and get the results you want while spending as little money as poss. i was there but after all efforts i wound up spending about twice what i would have had i just bit the bullet in the begining. buy a german eq mount. not a cheap one you need a solid tracking platform to get those long exposures. i use a lxd55 on a lxd75 tripod. i was able to find one on ebay used for about $450.i started with a celestron 130 slt with a go-to mount ..THESE WILL NOT TRACK THE WAY YOU NEED THEM TO. if your looking new i wouldnt go any lower grade than a celestron cg5 mount. you can find one for about $600 if your lucky. the next and most recent mistake was thinking i needed a huge refractor so i grabed a 6″ meade acro. bad idea. i wound up with blueish halos around my stars….damnit!!! ( I hate the dissapointment lol ) i needed to use a “APO” refractor which corrects the false color. working on that now but in the meantime im using a cheap sigma 70-300mm 5.6 lens on my nikon d3100. my results have been pretty good but not near what im looking to get. so far after i purchase the correct scope ill have about 2k invested ( not including my dslr) when all i needed was a 500 dollar mount a 500 dollar scope and a 10 dollar remote. if you simply dont have the money give it time ….you WILL figure out how to afford it lol. sorry for all of the spelling errors kinda tired


    • w6bky says:


      Thanks for all the good advice. As a novice astronomer, I need all the help I can get.


      • miles keenan says:

        no problem at all. Im glad to help avoid the same costly mistakes i made lol. if you want to do more observing than picture taking. zumell has a 12 inch dobsinion at a great price. youll see lots of things for sure


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