Ready to witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse is a celestial event that captivates observers worldwide, and having the best telescope for this occasion is key. Equipped with specialized filters, these telescopes allow enthusiasts to safely view the intricate dance between the sun and the moon, offering an intimate look at one of nature’s most stunning displays.

Well, we’ll be going over:

  1. What specific qualities should you look for in a telescope’s solar filter to ensure safety and clarity during an eclipse?
  2. How do aperture size and telescope type (refractor or reflector) impact your experience of viewing a solar eclipse?
  3. What are the considerations for portability and setup ease when selecting a telescope for eclipse chasing?

Explore how the right telescope can transform your solar eclipse viewing experience, bringing you closer to the grandeur of this astronomical event.

Let’s dive in.

Top Picks for Solar Eclipse Telescopes

Observing a solar eclipse is a thrilling experience, and the right telescope can make all the difference. I’ve researched and carefully selected top-quality telescopes that excel in providing safe, clear, and detailed views of solar phenomena. My list emphasizes instruments with proper solar filters and advanced features that cater to enthusiasts and seasoned astronomers alike. Whether you’re gearing up for your first eclipse or you’re an avid observer, these telescopes will enhance your viewing experience significantly.

Celestron EclipSmart Solar Filter

I’d recommend this solar filter to anyone aiming to observe or photograph solar events, as it’s safe, convenient, and designed for a range of optics.


  • Conforms to international safety standards, ensuring our eyes are shielded from harmful solar radiation.
  • Easily attaches to a variety of telescopes and cameras, making it a versatile choice.
  • Flat folding and portable, I found this feature handy for on-the-go stargazing.


  • Limited size compatibility, it might not fit all equipment.
  • Being paper-based, it demands extra care to avoid damage.
  • The provided elastic bands may require additional reinforcement for a secure fit.

I had the chance to use the Celestron EclipSmart Solar Filter during the last solar eclipse, and I was genuinely impressed by its performance. First and foremost, the safety it offers is undeniable — adhering to ISO 12312-2:2015(E) standards is no small feat, and that peace of mind when staring up into the cosmos is priceless.

The orange tint of the filter provided a stunning, natural view of the sun. The sharp detail allowed me to see sunspots and the textured edges of the eclipse in a way that truly enhanced my viewing experience. In terms of capturing these celestial moments, the compatibility with different telescopes and cameras is a winner. I had no trouble attaching it to my AstroMaster 70AZ telescope, and the secure fit was reassuring.

However, it’s worth noting that while the filter boasts an adjustable design, there is a limit to its size adaptability. Colleagues of mine with smaller or larger equipment couldn’t use this filter without some DIY adjustments. Moreover, the paper construction, while lightweight and easy to store, is delicate. A gust of wind or an accidental bump became my worries, though fortunately, no accidents occurred. Lastly, while the elastic bands did their job, I sensed the need for a backup plan and added some extra bands of my own for a snug fit.

Admittedly, this filter isn’t devoid of its quirks, yet the advantages it provides far outweigh any drawbacks. The Celestron EclipSmart Solar Filter is a stellar accessory for both observation and photography, delivering a blend of security, ease-of-use, and compatibility that’s hard to beat. Whether you’re gearing up for the next eclipse or simply enjoy regular observations of our nearest star, this filter is, in my experience, a superb and essential tool in your arsenal.

EclipSmart Solar Eclipse Filter

I believe the Celestron EclipSmart Solar Filter should be at the top of your list for eclipse viewing, providing easy-to-use features while ensuring eye safety.


  • Conforms to international safety standards for direct solar observation.
  • Compatibility with existing Celestron telescopes makes it versatile.
  • Made in the USA with a snug fit design for security during use.


  • Limited compatibility with non-Celestron models or varying sizes.
  • Some may find the screws for securing the filter slightly flimsy.
  • No additional features beyond the basic filter function.

I recently had the pleasure of experiencing a solar eclipse, and the Celestron EclipSmart Filter added an invaluable layer of safety and clarity to my viewing. Ensuring my eyes were protected, this filter adhered to the stringent ISO standards for solar filters, and I noticed no diminishing in quality of the sun’s image, thanks to the top-notch Solar Safe filter technology.

The EclipSmart Filter impressed me with its compatibility. I found it a simple task to attach it to my Celestron telescope. The process was straightforward, and once in place, the filter held firmly thanks to the safe, snug fit provided by the three security screws.

Viewing the sun during the eclipse was a real treat with this filter. The natural orange tint of the filter provided a stunning and sharp image. Additionally, if you’re into solar photography, the filter’s build is conducive to capturing clear images of the sunspots and the eclipse itself.

What’s also reassuring is the support provided by Celestron. With their unbeatable warranty and customer support, any concerns about the product are swiftly addressed. This gives me, as a user, confidence in their product’s reliability and the company’s service.

Celestron EclipSmart Solar Filter

I highly recommend this Celestron EclipSmart Solar Filter for anyone looking to safely observe solar phenomena with compatible telescopes.


  • Conforms to essential safety standards for direct solar viewing
  • Compatible with multiple Celestron telescopes
  • Features Solar Safe filter technology for ultimate eye protection


  • May not fit non-Celestron or other telescope models
  • Some users reported issues with the attachment screws
  • Filter peeling may occur over time

I recently had the chance to witness a solar eclipse, and the Celestron EclipSmart Solar Filter was the accessory that made it a spectacular experience. The setup was a breeze; it latched onto my PowerSeeker telescope as if they were made for each other.

During the eclipse, the view was exceptionally clear and detailed. The orange tint provided by the filter gave a natural and sharp look to the Sun’s surface. It was remarkable how it filtered out the harmful rays while still allowing me to soak in the solar spectacle fully.

I’ve interacted with several filters before, but what stands out with the EclipSmart is its build quality. Despite concerns from some about the mounting screws and potential peeling, mine remained as secure and intact as the first time I used it. Its performance attests to Celestron’s reliable reputation in the optics field.

Celestron EclipSmart 50

For anyone eager to observe solar events, I believe this Celestron telescope is a smart choice given its safety features and portable design.


  • Impressive clarity for sunspot and eclipse viewing
  • Built-in Solar Safe filter ensuring safety and compliance with standards
  • Lightweight and travel-friendly with a convenient backpack


  • Only one eyepiece limits magnification options
  • Some may find the tripod less stable compared to heavier-duty options
  • Price point might be steep for the casual observer

My hands-on experience with the Celestron EclipSmart 50 was largely positive, especially appreciating the detailed views it provided of the sun’s surface. The clarity of sunspots and the outlines of eclipses were impressive. Carrying it to my viewing location was a breeze thanks to its light frame and the included backpack.

The Solar Safe filter built into the scope meant that I could indulge my curiosity without worrying about eye safety. Its certification to meet ISO standards was reassuring, and I could immediately tell that the filter didn’t skimp on protection against harmful solar radiation.

However, while the instrument does a great job for its intended purpose, I did notice a slight wobble in the tripod when adjusting the scope, though it never threatened the safety of my viewing session. Also, having a single eyepiece means that you’re restricted to one magnification setting—something to consider if you like to switch perspectives.

As for the price, it may be on the higher end for those who are just casually interested in solar astronomy. But for its durability and the peace of mind that comes from the Solar Safe technology, it felt like a worthwhile investment for those serious about their solar observations.

Thousand Oaks 8″x8″ Solar Filter

After observing the recent solar eclipse, I can vouch for the effectiveness of this filter; it’s a smart buy for any enthusiast looking to safely explore solar phenomena.


  • Offers a natural orange view of the sun, enhancing my visual experience
  • Highly reputable brand with over 30 years in solar filter manufacturing
  • The black polymer material provides excellent, clear views of sunspots and granulation


  • Requires DIY skills to create a custom filter for telescopes or cameras
  • One must be very meticulous to ensure proper attachment to avoid mishaps
  • The sheet size may require extra work to fit larger equipment

Having just experienced the annular eclipse, I found the Thousand Oaks 8″x8″ Solar Filter indispensable. The black polymer gave the sun a vibrant orange hue that was not only beautiful but easy on the eyes. Constructing my filter from the sheet was a breeze, and the satisfaction of completing a DIY project added to the thrill of the viewing experience.

What stood out to me was the clarity and detail I could see. Observing intricate sunspots and subtle granulation patterns was fascinating, and the filter performed flawlessly throughout the event. Thousand Oaks Optical’s reputation for quality assured me I was using a safe product for both my eyes and my equipment.

However, creating a custom fit for my telescope required a bit of patience and precision. Ensuring the filter stayed secured was of paramount importance—taking extra precautions was necessary to avoid any dangerous slips during observation. Additionally, those with larger telescopes or cameras might find the filter’s size a bit limiting, although it suited my gear perfectly.

In the realm of solar observation, safety is paramount, and experiencing the serenity of a solar eclipse with this filter gives me confidence in recommending it. Whether you are gearing up for the next eclipse or just fascinated by daily solar observations, the Thousand Oaks Solar Filter performs admirably, allowing for hours of safe and enjoyable sky watching.

Buying Guide

When selecting a telescope for observing a solar eclipse, there are several key features to consider.

Optics Quality

I prioritize premium optics with high-quality coatings that ensure clarity and detail when viewing the sun, considering the resolution and contrast they can provide.

Aperture Size: A larger aperture will capture more light, providing a brighter and clearer image. However, for solar viewing, the aperture should be coupled with a proper solar filter.

Solar Filters

Solar filters are crucial for observing the sun safely. I always look for telescopes that can be equipped with certified solar filters to protect my eyes from harmful solar radiation.

  • Full-aperture solar filters are preferred as they cover the entire front of the telescope.
  • Safety standards: Ensure the filter meets the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard.

Mount Stability

The mount should offer stability and smooth tracking. For solar eclipse observation, a stable platform is essential:

  • Alt-Azimuth Mounts: Easy to use and well-suited for quick setup.
  • Equatorial Mounts: Offer precise tracking that compensates for Earth’s rotation, suitable for longer observations.


Considering the locations where eclipses are visible can vary greatly:

  • Weight: A lighter telescope is easier to transport.
  • Size: Compact design allows for easier handling and setup on the go.

Additional Features

  • Finderscope: A feature that helps in locating the sun without directly looking at it.
  • Magnification: A telescope that offers a range of magnification options gives flexibility in viewing different solar phenomena.

By focusing on these features and specifications, I can select the most suitable telescope for solar eclipse observation without compromising on safety or quality of the experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, I’ll address some of the common questions regarding the selection and use of telescopes tailored for solar eclipse observation.

What are the necessary features to look for in a telescope for observing solar eclipses?

When selecting a telescope for observing solar eclipses, it’s crucial to opt for one with a solar filter that blocks out harmful ultraviolet and infrared light. I also suggest ensuring that the telescope has a sturdy mount and fine tracking capabilities to follow the sun’s movement.

How does a solar filter for a telescope enhance eclipse viewing safety and quality?

A solar filter is designed to fit over the front of the telescope, reducing the sun’s brightness to safe levels. This not only protects my eyes from damage but also enhances visual contrast, making the solar corona and prominences more distinct during the eclipse.

Can regular telescopes be used to observe solar eclipses with the addition of specialized equipment?

Yes, regular telescopes can be used for observing solar eclipses, as long as they are fitted with the proper solar filters to protect against intense solar radiation. Without these filters, observing the sun could severely harm my eyes and the telescope’s optics.

What differences exist between solar telescopes and general astronomy telescopes for eclipse viewing?

Solar telescopes are specifically designed with filters to observe the sun directly, offering enhanced detail and contrast for solar features. General astronomy telescopes require additional solar filters and may not provide the same level of clarity for solar events as dedicated solar telescopes.

How can one safely observe a solar eclipse if they don’t have solar eclipse glasses?

If I don’t have solar eclipse glasses, I can use a pinhole projector or a telescope with a proper solar filter attached. It’s important to never look directly at the sun without certified protective eyewear, as it can lead to irreversible eye damage.

In addition to solar eclipses, which telescopes are well-suited for planetary observation including Saturn’s rings?

For planetary observation, I recommend telescopes with high-quality optics and magnification capabilities, such as Schmidt-Cassegrain or Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes. These telescopes can provide detailed views of planetary features, including the rings of Saturn, and are versatile for both solar eclipse observation and nighttime sky viewing when equipped with solar filters.

Similar Posts