The sun is known to be our nearest star and offers more dynamic activity and daily changes than any other object present in the sky. Enthusiasts and scientists related to this field use telescopes and other equipment to see sunspots, explore the grainy surface of the sun and observe eclipses among many other things.
Some of the newer telescopes in the market can also help enthusiasts look at solar flares and the fiery emergence of filaments and prominences. All of these changes appear and disappear within the span of hours, without extensive changes.
Observing the sun can be a really tricky task for people without a solar telescope. Scientists and medical experts have warned that viewing the sun directly without proper aid or equipment can lead to partial or full blindness. A solar telescope comes with a white light filter to minimize the impact of this and helps provide a pertinent solution view all the intricacies and facts of the sun.
When buying a solar telescope for your passions, you should ALWAYS make sure that the equipment is CE or ISO certified. The certification ensures that the filter present inside the scope has no coating errors or pinholes on its surface. Some telescopes come with an adjustable filter, which isn’t built-in. You can check such filters for leaks or gaps that might cause future harm. The sun is safe to observe with the right materials but can damage your eyes if done with the wrong equipment.
In this article we look at some of the best solar telescopes in the market and help you choose between them. Go through our reviews and buying guide to make the perfect choice for yourself.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Solar Telescope
There are a number of solar telescopes and related filters available in the market today. Knowing the variety and options available to you, one should consider a number of key factors during the purchase. We list these factors down in this section for your understanding:
White Light & Hydrogen-Alpha
White light solar filters come attached with the front end of most telescopes and are typically known to be removable. As a matter of fact, enthusiasts and buyers should never buy or use a telescope that screws itself to your eyepiece. Based on the material present within the white light filter, the sun may appear yellow, white, orange or slightly bluish or greenish to you.
White light filters show the sun’s surface as a whole, so you’re bound to see the grainy surface in full flow. Hydrogen-alpha filters use dichroic filters to change the wavelengths of the sun and narrow them down. You can actively view many of the changes on the sun’s surface through this view.
More aperture means better resolution for your solar telescope. Enthusiasts would want to see the sun in all its glory, which is where wider aperture can do the deed for you.
Finally, you should consider the cost price of your solar telescope. Go for a good solar telescope that is within your budget and does not exceed the price you have in mind. Anything more than that is a strict no-go.
1. Meade EclipseView 60
ASIN Number: B071D4YF39
This Meade EclipseView 60 provides the best bang for your buck when it comes to solar telescopes. This is a basic and inexpensive solar telescope that can be used to view the activities of the sun. The entire telescope costs just as much as a decent white-light filter.
The EclipseView 60 comes with 25mm and 9mm eyepieces from Meade’s. The mount might look cheap in stature but does its job well.
2. Meade EclipseView 114
ASIN Number: B06ZY6S8WX
This Meade EclipseView 114 is an upgrade on the 60 and has some yellow trim added to it alongside the solar filter. This is a 4.5 inch f/4 tabletop Dobsonian that comes with 25mm and 9mm eye pieces and extremely good optics.
The white light solar filter present within this solar telescope does stop down the aperture by an inch and a half.
3. Sky-Watcher Virtuoso
ASIN Number: B00CIVV34Q
This Sky-Watcher Virtuoso is hardly marketed, but is an amazing telescope. The equipment comes for less than $300, but is a real telescope for solar enthusiasts. The device includes slewing buttons, 2 eyepieces and a solar filter.
The Virtuoso does more than enough to help you track the sun and catch the different aspects in play on its surface. While the Virtuoso is a tabletop scope, the threads on the bottom can be used to attach a tripod.
4. Meade Coronado Personal Solar Telescope
ASIN Number: B001C7RB2A
This Meade Coronado Personal Solar Telescope revolutionized the look of solar telescopes when it was first introduced back in the 2000s. Solar telescopes were an expensive affair before this device made them affordable with the same results.
The PST comes with an H-alpha scope that can be used to track the sun in its original color and catch the different forces in play on its surface.
5. Lunt LS50
ASIN Number: B07KKN8G93
This Lunt LS50 Solar Telescope comes at a cost, but more than justifies it with its amazing 50mm of aperture and high magnification options. The Lunt LS50 can take stunning pictures of the sun’s surface with even normal cameras.
The scope tuning system is also better than the others on the list. At this price you deserve the very best, and the Lunt LS50 delivers just that.
Our Final Thoughts
The Meade EclipseView 60 is our top pick for people on a budget and the Lunt LS50 is best recommended for people on a budget looking to take their solar viewings forward. Both these telescopes provide good output for their relative budgets and can help you view the sun in the manner you want.