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== Observational Safety == By /u/Orangelantern When you think of a word to describe Astronomy, "Dangerous" doesn't normally come to mind. Its not. There are however, dangerous things you can do ''while'' observing. A telescope is a light amplifying device. Pointing it at a bright object such as the sun and looking through the eyepiece can severely damage your eye. As /u/Orangelantern experienced, even having your telescope pointed '''NEAR''' the sun without a proper filter attached to the aperture can cause catastrophe. Fortunately for /u/Orangelantern, he was not looking through the telescope when the sun '''burned through his eyepiece'''<blockquote>"It was really really clear outside today, so i decided to put my solar filter on my telescope and take a look at the Sun. I made the mistake of not putting the glass filter on before i aligned the scope near the sun. After about 3 or 4 seconds I smelled burning plastic. I made a joke to my Dad who was making pancakes about how he was burning the pan when i noticed it was actually my own fault."</blockquote>Imagine that being your eye. Solar observing is nothing to joke about. Before each observation you must first go over a mini checklist in your head. * Is the filter properly attached to the telescope? * Does it have any cracks or holes? * Is the Glass/Mylar firmly attached to the inner perimeter of the holder? * Is my Finderscope attached or filtered as well? * Am I in an environment conducive to the possibility of the filter falling off? ( Sunday football game with rowdy drunk people about is not a very safe time to stare at an object capable of burning a hole through your skull) ----
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