Adventures in ghetto astronomy

Venus will be crossing the face of the sun (“transiting”) on June 6th.

venus transit

The 2004 transit of venus (image taken by Jan Herold)

Wouldn’t it be awesome to see that through a telescope! Unfortunately doing that would result in blindness. It’s just like how you used to burn ants with a magnifying glass, only it’s your eye getting toasted.

So what’s a nerd to do? Buy an expensive dedicated solar telescope or solar filter? Nah, it’s time to get buy some cheap solar safety film, get out the cardboard and ductape, and mod that puppy.

The home made solar filter

The home made solar filter

Telescope with ghetto solar filter mod

Telescope with ghetto solar filter mod

Unfortunately when I finished the skies looke like this:

Cloudy skies

Cloudy skies

So I couldn’t test it properly. Here’s hoping on the 6th the skies are clear. All I could do for the moment was test the filter with a really bright lamp.

The "daylight" lamp

The “daylight” lamp

The lamp as seen through the filter

The lamp as seen through the filter

Notice how you can see the detail of the lamp’s filament. The filter actually works by reflecting 99.999% of incoming light, so it looks like a mirror, meaning I can take the following freaky photo, where you can see both my distorted reflection and the lamp filament behind the filtler:

Distorted dan and the lamp filament

Distorted dan and the lamp filament

Actually that’s a great name for a band.

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4 thoughts on “Adventures in ghetto astronomy

  1. Good to see you’re doing the washing.
    Ugly, but effective.
    The filter, not you.
    Looking forward to some solar watching!

  2. I saw the annular eclipse here last week. The sun was a thin bright ring around the edge of the moon.

  3. Pingback: I’m your Venus « The 327th Male

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