Solar Equipment

The Great American Solar Eclipse season is in full swing. The entire OPTeam is working around the clock to ensure that your order arrives in time for you to experience this momentous event. Since we are experiencing a higher than average order volume, not all orders will include up-to-date tracking information. However, you have our promise that we will address all inquiries as quickly as possible and we are currently shipping most orders the day they are received. We truly appreciate your patience during this busy time and thank you for choosing OPT.  

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We provide an impressively wide array of safe and effective solar equipment to help you view our Sun in all its glory here at OPT, and we're proud of it! This ranges from specialized solar telescopes and filters to cameras selected for their compatibility with solar filters and adapters, and includes the full spectrum that lies between! Whether you need a mount the perfect size for a solar telescope or a camera that will mesh perfectly with your solar filter set, we have what you need. Solar astronomy is unique in that, by its very nature, it can be performed during the day. This becomes an especially notable factor when you're using a normal telescope with a solar filter- you can setup at your chosen site during the day and enjoy solar astronomy, then simply remove the filter at nightfall and continue into nighttime astronomy! And solar astronomy isn't just for those who can invest in a full telescope system- due to how close and how large our sun is, it can even be viewed enjoyably through specialized binoculars or even glasses! This is especially notable during such solar phenomena as eclipses, during which safe practice and a pair of glasses can result in some of the most breathtaking sights of a year! Solar safety is a priority in every solar product sold at OPT, and we urge you to carefully follow the procedures listed in any instructions included with any solar product for your own wellbeing. 

Our Sun may be your only chance to get up close and personal with a star.  Find the right gear for solar observing and imaging here.  OPT carries the most respected solar equipment from trusted manufacturers.  Solar telescopes, solar filters, and a variety of accessories like solar film or Herschel wedges, can show you our closest star in all its glory.  You don't have to wait until after sundown to enjoy astronomy! 

If you're interested in observing sunspots, planetary transits, and solar eclipses, the white light solar film cell may be right for you. These full-aperture solar filters use a special film that is designed to block harmful light waves and reveal the Sun's details in white light.  These very affordable solar filters are custom designed to fit your existing telescope.

For extreme durability and safety, as well as pleasing image color, you may wish to consider a full aperture glass solar filter.  These custom-created white light solar filters also fit over the telescope end and are designed by the leaders of solar filter manufacturers.  The features they reveal on the Sun are very similar to those observed when using solar filters made with film (above).  However, many people prefer glass filters because they seem more durable and are thought of as less likely to sustain damage.  Regardless, either style will last many years if cared for properly, so the choice is one of personal preference.

If you'd like to take white light viewing to the professional level, consider solar wedges for incredible contrast and details.  For use in refractors only, the Herschel safety wedge solar prism offers the finest white-light solar views obtainable.  The amount of sunspot detail and surface granulation will surprise even the most experienced solar observer.  Penumbrae resolve into a staggering range of contrasts and fine wispy details.  The solar disc is set against a jet-black sky, like observing the full Moon at night.

If you're interested in viewing solar prominences, solar flares, solar corona, and other unusual details, the solar Hydrogen-Alpha (H-alpha) Filter is what you're looking for.  These high quality filters are designed to block all light except for the h-alpha wave.  This is an important emission line for solar observation, as the Sun's surface layer contains a high percentage of hydrogen.  The H-alpha filter allows safe observation of the entire solar disc, providing superb views of prominences, chromosphere, and surface detail such as sunspots, plagues, flares, filaments, and granulation.  The Sun will be revealed in glowing detail!

While almost all refractors and most reflecting telescopes can be used with a solar filter, a dedicated solar telescope is designed with features and coatings made for the Sun alone.  Using equipment that has been designed with this one wavelength of light in mind will increase contrast and give you a darker background for viewing and imaging.  It is also much quicker to pull out a dedicated solar telescope than to convert your nighttime instrument when you want to take a look at a fast-developing prominence during your lunch hour.

If the thought of imaging magnetic solar storms, plague activity, and even solar weather appeals to you, then consider a dedicated Calcium K (CaK) solar filter or telescope.  The thermally stable interference feature allows you to view the chromospheric network of ionized calcium emissions that are created when supergranulation cells sweep through magnetic fields where they collect and strengthen. 

If you're already acquainted with solar observing, perhaps you might need H-alpha double-stacking accessories such as adapters, tuners, or narrowband element fronts.  If you would like to attach a solar h-alpha filter to your existing quality small refractor telescope, you will need an H-Alpha adapter plate.  In Solar Telescope Accessories, you can find blocking filters, cases, mounts, finderscopes, tuners, filter film, solar eyepieces, and hats.  Yes, hats.  Remember to protect your head and neck while doing solar work.  Just because you are doing science doesn’t mean you can’t get burned!