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Aiming your Telescope at the Sun

Aiming your telescope, with the proper protection, toward the Sun can be problematic.  If you use a traditional Finder or a Reflex finder (like a Telrad) you are still look into the Sun.

The easiest way to aim your telescope is to watch the shadow of your telescope tube a move the scope until the shadow is at it smallest possible shape.  An extension of this idea if you have a tradition finder scope with mounting rings is to remove the finderscope and replace it with a length of PVC pipe – then watch the shadow of the pipe until it is a circle.

There are “solar finders” on the market which project a shadow or image of the Sun onto a frosted piece of glass.

It is never a good idea to view the Sun without eye protection.  It is an especially bad idea to view the Sun though optics like a binocular or telescope without protection as you will do damage to your equipment and your eyes.
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