Bryan Dort (
Thu, 8 May 1997 08:16:04 -0400


With all of the talk of solar transits, I thought now would be a good time
to give some warnings about viewing the sun for fellow newbies.  

The following was taken from Advice to Beginners Seeking a Telescope at:


Viewing the sun without proper equipment can lead to blindness!  Even
small telescopes that are furnished with a "solar filter" that threads on
to the eyepiece are capable of leading to gradual eye damage and possibly
blindness.  While viewing the sun with the filter in place, one can go
blind gradually without feeling any discomfort; many famous early
astronomers died blind (including Galileo) because they looked at the sun
with smoked glass neutral density filters that attenuated the brightness
but failed to filter out harmful portions of the sunlight spectrum.
Regardless, we suggest all telescope operators be cautioned about the
dangers of observing the sun without the use of proper safety equipment,
small children may need constant adult supervision or restriction of
access to the telescope. 


Please be careful.

This has been a public service announcement to fellow newbies!

Bryan Dort -
Programmer Analyst
Alpena General Hospital -
Alpena, MI  USA
45.0524N 83.4575W 200m