New Sun Scope from Old

posted May 9, 2012, 2:38 PM by James Roe
I bought my first telescope in 1964 - a three-inch f/15 refractor from Edmund Scientific for $125.  I used it until I was able to afford bigger and bigger telescopes.  I can't tell you how many times I've moved and always took that telescope along.  Many times I've thought to get rid of it but wouldn't give it away as not being worth the effort for someone to mess with and I couldn't just throw it away.  So it knocked about these last 48 years gathering dust.

When I saw the Telescope Workshop column by Gary Seronik in the June 2012 issue of Sky and Telescope (page 60) new hope sprang forth.  Gary describes a "Sun Funnel" which would be an ideal fit to my old refractor.  It would become a dedicated solar telescope ideal for public events.  So I gathered the parts and put it together and here it is!

Note the retro use of galvanized pipe fittings for the mount (turning on the threads).  The solar image is just over three inches across, easily shows sunspots and is view-able by a group.  One can even use a magnifying glass to examine the sunspots in more detail.  It's just in time for the transit of Venus on June 5.