Bruce Nebens Asks: How do I aim my telescope (shielded by a mylar filter) at the sun? I obviously can't use the Tetrad that I use to aim my telescope at night sky objects? How much magnification will I need to look at sun spots?

Bruce Neben Asks: How do I aim my telescope (shielded by a mylar filter) at the sun? I obviously can't use the Tetrad that I use to aim my telescope at night sky objects? Now much magnification will I need to look at Sunspots?

Thanks Bruce for contacting us. There are two ways of pointing at the Sun. One is to buy a Solar Finder. Orion, TeleVue and other manufacturers sell them so you can acurately point at the Sun. The other alternative is more of practice and consists in looking at the shadow that your telescope projects on the ground. When you move your scope the shadow changes shape. When this shadow is the smallest is when the length of the telescope is aligned with the Sun. Its not perfect but with a little practice you can get it easily inthe field of View of your telescope. Also when doing this use a large eyepiece so you cover a large FOV. Regarding sunspots it all depends on the focal length of your telescope. A 8 inch SCT with 2032mm of focal length using a 12 mm eyepiece will bring sunspots very close. A 1000mm Newtonian with a 25 mm eyepiece will still show the sunspots but they will be much smaller. It also depends on the size of the Sunspots. You can always try adding a Barlow to your setup and see how that works.
Hope this helps and you are always welcome to come to Fox Observatory and one of our staff members will be able to help you. We are open every Saturday from  late afternoon until midnight.
Thanks for contacting us and please Keep Looking up!!