Astronomy tests Coronado’s SolarMax II Telescope
This compact Hydrogen-alpha scope will enhance your observing as solar maximum approaches.
March 26, 2012
Coronado’s SolarMax II 60 Telescope is a Hydrogen-alpha telescope. Unlike a visible-light solar filter, which can show sunspots, the SolarMax II’s filter reveals prominences, flares, and the Sun’s chromosphere.
Photo by Astronomy: William Zuback
With solar maximum — the peak of activity in the Sun’s 11-year cycle — rapidly approaching, observers are spending more time viewing our daytime star. Any telescope with a properly filtered optical system will allow you to see the Sun in the relatively broad spectral range of visible light. However, for an exquisite view of our star, a dedicated narrowband filter lets you explore details such as active solar regions and prominences.
The primary narrowband filter amateur astronomers use for solar observing is the Hydrogen-alpha (Hα). It only transmits light with a wavelength of 656.28 nanometers — the Hα line. For this review, I tested an excellent solar telescope you should consider if you would like to observe in Hα: the SolarMax II 60 Telescope by Coronado, a subsidiary of Meade Instruments.
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