NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

On Sunday 5th May 2024 the team from CMHASD set themselves up for the first of our two Solar Observing events at Hall Place & Gardens and what a glorious day it was to be out solar observing.

Members of the public were invited to do some solar observing which was enthusiastically accepted by those who were keen to look at the sun using our scopes.  The Sun put on a good display having several complex sunspots for the public to view.

Five telescopes were set up to observe the Sun safely.  First; a table-top Celestron Firstscope 76mm Newtonian fitted with a home-made solar filter through which many of the public were able to see the numerous sunspot groups, this was a low budget telescope and easy to use.

There were 3 smart scopes set up; two Seestar S50’s and a Dwarf II.  The 2 images of the Sun below were taken by the smart scopes.  The first was taken by CMHASD Secretary Dr Mike Rushton using a Dwarf II smart scope and the second taken by member Terry Miles using a Seestar S50 smart telescope.  Both images were captured whilst Mike & Terry were helping at Hall Place.

Dwarf II smart telescope (1″ aperture!) 30 x 1/200sec subs at gain 0 with a ND6 Solar filter.


The fifth telescope set up was a Celestron C90 Maksutov Cassegrain telescope, focal length 1250mm, 90mm objective lens (corrector plate) using a 32mm eye piece which gave a full view of the Sun’s disk. This was on a Sky Watcher heavy duty tripod on which was mounted a William Optics wedge on which was mounted a iOptron Sky Guider Pro tracking mount and finally the Mak mounted on top. The Celestron was set up for visual observation only so fitted with a Baader 5ND solar filter, no imaging was done.

Our pitch was on the grass at the end of the path from the main entrance to the gardens, and we were quite close to the hard standing outside the art gallery and café. With the date being chosen to coincide with the Farmers’ Market, we experienced good foot-fall and our flag was prominent for visitors as they arrived.

The Crayford team returns again later in July for our second session but there’s no doubt this first visit to Hall Place for Solar Observing in 2024 was a great success and the Society would like to thank all those members who helped on the day 😀

Thank you also to John Archer, John Howarth, Dr Mike Rushton and Terry Miles for sharing your photos with us.

*** CMHASD will be back at Hall Place on Sunday 7th July 2024 to do some more Solar Observing with the public. Please do come and join us! ***