Quiet Sun - good time to get a solar telescope?

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Paul S
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Quiet Sun - good time to get a solar telescope?

Post by Paul S »

Interesting piece about unusually low sun activity levels, the Maunder minimum and whether we're heading for another one. Maybe demand for solar telescopes will drop and they'll be going cheap?
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Col Man
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Post by Col Man »

from what ive seen on the astro shop websites in america, demand has dropped and sadly instead of being cheaper and cheaper the manufacturers (coronado lunt etc) have simply stopped production for a few months.. still you can get a top of the range solarmax 90 scope for almost 5 thousand dollars less than you could a year ago 8,300usd down from 12,900usd... :)

here in uk they are rather more expensive...a lot more..dont expect prices to drop here..

my advice is if you want a decent solar scope and you got money to burn then get on a plane..the airfare is cheaper than the import tax you would pay getting one shipped over...


:)
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Col Man
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Post by Col Man »

i read the article too earlier and i like this idea of greater solar cycles and cycles within cycles, the idea the mm was the low of a greater 300 year cycle and 1985 was the high..is suggesting there will be activity soon..
still they are saying that about the recession but im not seeing anything with that either... :)

only time will tell :)
Last edited by Col Man on Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Deimos
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Post by Deimos »

My general experience in this recession with "one off" type more expensive things is that there are two strategies used by manufacturers. Some are raising prices to maintain profits on declining volume (which of course tends to have a positive feedback effect) whilst others are reducing prices to try to maintain some sort of volume and accept reduced profits.

I guess the former strategy might be OK if the problems are shortlived but will cause complete collapse if the problems go on a bit longer. The 2nd strategy is probably the safer but as it seems things might go on longer that the government are saying. At least maintaining volume and accepting reduced profits will allow a business to be ready for a recovery and still be trading.

Not related to astronomical equipment but a general observation.

Ian
Col Man
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Post by Col Man »

it seems due to the recession that most of the astronomical equipment manufactureres have sadly gone with the first strategy.. to the misery of all us poor astronomers :cry:

i guess there arent enough of us in the uk for them to go with the second....

yet solar scopes have come down in the usa to buck the trend :)
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Col Man
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Post by Col Man »

oh and i noticed that televue are having a 10% off stimulus sale on eyepieces in the usa :) but not here :(
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Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Paul S
There seem to be two different philosohies with respect to buying Solar Telescopes :
1) since it is still around the minimum solar telescopes should be cheap.
2) since we are in recession then solar telescopes (and of course other astronomical equipment as well) will continue to drop in price.
Well personally I do not think the current economic recession will be ending very soon. So if anything whilst all the tight fisted astronomers are waiting for equipment prices to drop (how long is it expected that prices will drop ?) meanwhile some equipment makers will go out of business. So in the long term astronomical equipment prices will increase and people will have even less spare money to spend.
Best of luck from Cliff
PS in a few years time when the Solar activities increases second hand solar scopes might be more expensive than new ones are now !!!
Paul S
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Post by Paul S »

Cliff wrote:So if anything whilst all the tight fisted astronomers are waiting for equipment prices to drop (how long is it expected that prices will drop ?) meanwhile some equipment makers will go out of business. So in the long term astronomical equipment prices will increase and people will have even less spare money to spend.
Best of luck from Cliff
PS in a few years time when the Solar activities increases second hand solar scopes might be more expensive than new ones are now !!!
Fair point, Cliff. I have no desire to see manufacturers go to the wall. But on the other hand the Coronado PST for example is something I just can't afford. Especially if there's nothing to look at!

I used to enjoy projecting the sun from a pair of army bins in the recession blighted 70's. Even they cost me a small fortune from an army surplus place. Now you can get superb bins from Lidl for a tenner.

By the way, I don't remember seeing too much activity back then in the 70's and I see now that it was pretty much a solar minimum mid-decade. It's an interesting list of solar cycles - I always thought there was much less variance to the 11/22 year cycle.
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Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear PaulS
If you cannot afford to buy a PST (or whatever equipment for that matter) then I have to sympathise with you. I can hardly expect anyone to buy things just to keep business going. Unfortunately we now seem to be in bad times with many uncertainties.
Best of luck from Cliff
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Post by goodtime »

Col Man wrote:.. still you can get a top of the range solarmax 90 scope for almost 5 thousand dollars less than you could a year ago 8,300usd down from 12,900usd...
Wow, wish I could afford to spend that on a scope, even the bargain-basement price... :shock:
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Col Man
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Post by Col Man »

goodtime wrote:
Col Man wrote:.. still you can get a top of the range solarmax 90 scope for almost 5 thousand dollars less than you could a year ago 8,300usd down from 12,900usd...
Wow, wish I could afford to spend that on a scope, even the bargain-basement price... :shock:
haha i was waiting for someone to say that.. i feel exactly the same..

even at 500 quid (plus case plus tripod = 650 ish) a P.S.T. is pretty damned expensive. and if you want the next one up or the same thing is double stacking the P.S.T. then you are talking just over a thousand pounds ( i think 1100 )or a thousand dollars in the usa.

you know i think we need to get together in a group or find a local astro society and club together for one then everyone gets observing time..

im sure this idea has been thought of before many times :)

i look forward to day when i have spare cash to buy a solar scope.. until then ill keep on dreaming :D
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brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

Paul's mention of projecting the Sun with binoculars should be treated with caution. Binoculars have cemented eyepieces and the heat from the Sun could cause the cement to melt and bubble. Prisms can also crack with the heat.
Not a good idea unless it's an old pair of bins that you don't mind ruining.
brian
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