Om Observing the Sun with Coronado(TM) Tele
Scientists will often tell you that now is the most exciting time for a particular interest. We will always have just discovered or invented something that will "revolutionize" something or the other. The computer on which I am typing this, for example, is four times faster than its predecessor and slightly cheaper. However, the last decade or so has seen some advances that have changed the face of amateur solar astronomy. Professional researchers have been using many of the tools and techniques for years but now they are available to amateurs as well. The use of digital photography and computers has changed all astronomy, not just amateur solar astronomy, and it has certainly made a lot more techniques available for photographing the Sun. Secondly, the use of "white light" solar filters has improved the detail that can be seen on the solar surface. In the past, the only technique that was available was projection onto a piece of white paper or card. Thirdly, the use of hydrogen alpha filters has recently hit the "affordability barrier" of $500 or GBP500 for many amateur astronomers. The Coronado Personal Solar Telescope (PST) is a real breakthrough product that has now brought a fascinating branch of astronomy within the reach of many people. In recent months, the same technique has been applied to calcium K filters.