Vacation Day #4 and I spent some time this morning experimenting with solar photography. On June 5, the transit of Venus will take place and since the next one after that won’t happen for another 115 years, I thought I should try for this year’s! I discovered to my dismay that the very expensive, modern-design, Herschel Wedge won’t work for photography with my “big” telescope — the six-inch, 1,219mm Meade LXD75. Rats! I’m going to make quick queries to see what I can do to resolve the issue if I’m to use the wedge any time soon … and June 5 is soon! I could not crank the camera “in” close enough to achieve focus with the wedge in place. So with the telescope still set up in the mid-morning sunshine, I removed the wedge and covered the telescope’s objective lens with the very inexpensive AstroZap filter made using Baader AstroSolar film. I connected my trusty (and light-weight) Canon Digital Rebel XT to the scope’s eyepiece holder and made several bracketed exposures. Later I discovered the results were very good though not quite as good as shots made with my Canon EOS 50D and Canon 400mm telephoto. The difference in quality may be attributed to seeing conditions –the images were made days apart– but either setup will do just fine for recording the historic celestial event. Now all we need is clear skies on that day!
Now all we need is clear skies