This value-packed kit includes two vital items needed to safely view the Sun through a SkyQuest XX12 Truss Tube Dobsonian. The included Light Shroud and 14.21″ ID Orion Off Axis Solar Filter fits both the XX12i IntelliScope and XX12g GoTo Dobsonian telescopes, and allows you to safely view sunspots and other solar phenomena with your big 12″ truss tube Dobsonian. Let’s explore each included item:
Orion Light Shroud for SkyQuest XX12 Dobsonian Telescope
For the best performance from any truss Dobsonian, a shroud is a must. This one, custom designed for the SkyQuest XX12, is made of a stretchy nylon blend material that fits like a glove over the truss poles of the XX12, fastening with thick elastic bands on both ends. The water-resistant, opaque black fabric blocks stray light from entering the optical path, thus improving image contrast. During the day, the Light Shroud blocks potentially harmful peripheral sunlight from entering the telescope. The Shroud material is conveniently breathable, which minimizes unwanted vibration of the scope in breezy conditions. Use of the shroud will lessen the accumulation of dust and dirt on the mirrors during use, and will help prevent dew from forming on them at night.
14.21″ ID Orion Off Axis Solar Filter
Who said you have to be in the dark to do astronomy? Turning your telescope to the Sun is fun and educational. Watch the march of giant sunspots, the clouds of glowing vapor in the photosphere, and solar “granulation” detail. But be sure to protect your precious vision with a safe Orion solar filter! Looking at the Sun without one, even for an instant, can permanently damage your eyes.
The off-axis optical glass telescope filter included in this kit delivers superb views of the Sun through the XX12 Dobsonian, without risk to your eyes. The filter safely covers entire telescope aperture, with an off-axis glass filter which allows safe solar viewing. The glass portion of the off-axis solar filter is 4″ in diameter, and it allows only a fraction of the incoming sunlight to pass through for safe observation, while rejecting harmful ultraviolet and infrared radiation. The solar filter’s aluminum cell has a 14.21″ inside diameter (ID) which is designed to slide-fit over the front of your 12″ reflector telescope.
While more expensive than Mylar filters, Orion glass solar filters provide significantly better contrast, a more natural yellow-orange color instead of blue or white, and their glass and aluminum construction is much more durable. The glass filter elements are machine-polished and triple-coated with an advanced nickel-chromium stainless steel alloy for a scratch-resistant surface.
WARNING! When using a truss tube Dobsonian telescope for solar observing, always use a Light Shroud and a properly sized solar filter. When you install the Light Shroud make certain there are no gaps between the Shroud and the telescope where direct sunlight can reach the telescope mirror. When a truss tube telescope (equipped with a solar filter but no Light Shroud) is pointing near (not at) the Sun, direct sunlight can hit the mirror and focus on the solar filter or other portions of the telescope. This can lead to eye injury or damage to the telescope. Using a Light Shroud protects your telescope from peripheral sunlight.
Before using any telescope for solar observing, make sure to install all dustcaps or other protective covers on all optical components such as finder scopes to keep sunlight from passing through them. Glancing through an uncovered optical system, even for an instant, can cause permanent eye damage. Always install protective caps on all optical instruments if left out during daylight hours