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Unlocking the Universe: Your Guide to Astronomical Filters

Filters are often overlooked by amateur astronomers when they look to improve their imaging or observing game to a new level. By mastering the filtration of light wavelengths one can achieve incredible results even from heavily light polluted areas. Our YouTube channel covers the basics of different filters in the video below.


How to mount the filters?

As a rule of thumb, a filter should be always placed as near the sensor of the camera that you can. Build your imaging train with this in mind – start from your camera and attach a filter holder of your choosing right after it before you seek any other accessories to the setup. This way you can eliminate unwanted reflections from your optics. Keep in mind that solar filters are an exception to this and should be always placed according the manufacturers recommendation – most often before any light enters the telescope.

To mount the filters we offer a wide range of products. Most inexpensive solution is to use a filter manual wheel or a filter drawer. These work great when you don’t wish to automate your setup or if you are a visual observer.
For full automation and ease of use, an electronic filter wheel is required. Imaging software’s can handle filter change with precision and ease of use each time with these cleverly designed helpful products.

Filters for visual astronomy


Visual astronomers can benefit from use of filters too, UHC filter can be used to enhance contrast in nebulosities. For planetary nebula's it is worth a try to use an OIII filter as they are often enhanced greatly with this wavelength of light isolated. If your image is too bright when viewing the moon, you can tone it down with an ND filter or polarizing filter.

Solar filters – safely view our nearest star

When using a solar filter, safety of the equipment and eyes is paramount. You should always ensure that your filter will stay on the telescope when observing or imaging the sun. Always use precaution and make sure your filter is intact before each use. When handled correctly solar filters are safe to use and make a great use for your telescope during sunny days. Solar surface is ever-evolving with fascinating phenomena such as sunspots, faculae, prominence's and solar flares.

Sunspot group viewed with a H-alpha solar telescope


Conclusion

Filters offer a window to the unseen world of light wavelengths in the sky. From enhancing the views of nebulae and surface of the sun to improving image sharpness in planetary and lunar imaging – these humble pieces of optical glass can make the most out of your telescope. If you are unsure of what filters to get for your telescope feel free to contact our customer service for assistance. Our team of experts will be happy to help you on your astronomical journey!

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