Baader U-Filter (Venus and UV) 1¼?" and 2"
Baader U-Filter with a Transmission peak approx 80% at CWL 350nm , bandwidth 60nm (320-380nm), with complete blocking of the spectral range from 200nm to 1120nm. Dielectric multi-coated coating on optically polished Schott glass UG-11. Enables shooting in the deep UV spectral region; a wavelength range that was previous inaccessible for amateur astronomers. The Solar Calcium K-Line also is within the passband of this filter.
The Baader U-Filter was created for imaging Venus with a webcam, CCD and CMOS cameras. Using the filter for visual observations is impossible due to the eye's insensitivity to this spectral range (UV).
Requirements for Successful use of this Filter
- UV sensitive imaging camera such as the SKYRIS 274M with at least a telescope of 5" diameter. A telescope with 8" diameter is recommended.
- Single Shot CCD are not suitable for use with the U-Filter.
Another field of application is the recording of the flare structures of the solar atmosphere - not just the edge of the Sun, but also in the solar centre. The Calcium-K line, where the torch areas are clearly visible, lying in the passband of the filter. & Copy; Dominique Dierick
Venus Recording © W. Paech
Venus Recording © W. Paech
Venus Sickle – 2/3 closed, a rare photo © M. Rietze
Philosophy, Application and Technique
The planet Venus is surrounded by a closed cloud cover, which moves at high speed around the planet. Here, different cloud bands, which show a steady change of details form similar to the cloud cover of Jupiter. Unfortunately, these clouds can not be seen in visible light, unlike Jupiter, meaning Venus appears completely structureless. However, by using a camera that is sensitive to inaccessible wavelengths unlike the eye, this cloud structure detail can be seen, in particular using ideal wavelengths in UV range between 320nm and 390nm.
Since the early days of amateur astronomy, amateurs have been trying to work in this light. The difficulty is procuring a suitable filter to work precisely in this short wavelength region adequately. A sharp short-pass filter with high transmission is virtually impossible to produce. This also applies, surprisingly, to interference filters. While a theoretically ideal UV bandpass can be produced, there is inevitably at least one second passage window in the visible range. This is fatal because this undesirable area cannot be blocked with coloured glass. In such a case you would need again an ideal short-pass filter, which again is not produced in sufficient quality.
Amateurs have tried with modest success to create a filter for stacking one UV passage without a second passage area. This meant a strongly reduced contrast and modest transmission, which is not ideal. Those who believe you can make do with a less transmission filter are soon disabused. In addition the glass of many telescope optics in the UV have a much lower transmission, which does not help.
The good idea of using an excellent UV-interference filter with a second window in the visible light, and evaluate only the blue channel in the resulting images of the colour camera used of course does not either. The filter on the semiconductor is subject to the same problems mentioned above. Also the blue channel gets light from the other channels added to it. Since the semiconductor is not very UV sensitive, the low leakage of the visual light tends to be shifted to the UV. This double image show significantly the effect of refraction and can make the UV detail inaccessible due to this inefficient rejection of light outside of the 320-390nm spectral range.
With the latest dielectric coating technology, it is possible to achieve an ideal UV characteristic with the highest transmission while blocking other transmission windows. This has made it possible for the first time for an amateur astronomer to photographically observe the changing clouds of Venus and to say goodbye to the vacuous white crescent. All Baader filters are finely polished optically (increases image quality). High magnification during eyepiece projection is also possible, without reducing the sharpness of the optics.
Non-Astronomical Application Areas
These filters can be used in the observation, by technical photography, of nature. For instance they are used to determine the health of plants. Automotive experts can examine if a vehicle has been repaired as the repaired surfaces are very clearly seen due to differing reflectance. Many other applications are still in testing.
Left Picture: Dr. K. Schmitt is using our UV filters to assess the damage by disease. In this example to make the damage to Primroses clearly visible a normal daylight and a UV image are taken. Using a subtraction algorithm the difference in the image shows the damage much more clearly than in the visual image. The pictures were taken with a Nikon D70, Nikkor 105mm UV.
Right Picture: I am truly pleased with the new 2" Baader U filter. I thank you and your team for making it! A TRUE MASTERPIECE ! You can see an Ultraviolet capture using this filter on a Nikon D70 camera. The car is uniformly a metallic grey under normal, visible light. The non-factory paint job shows up only under UV. This is my year round test object. With best regards, Sincerely, Vivek Iyer.
The Baader U Filter is only produced in set sizes relevant for use with astronomical telescopes. However, we do produce a family of adaptor rings to mount any of our 2 inch (50.8mm) filters in front of any camera lens which has a filter thread. It is important to note that not all cameras and lenses are suited to UV photography and this could result in a low signal to noise ratio in the image produced. For best results it is advised to use a specialized camera body responsive to UV light (that does not have typical blocking filters that everyday cameras have) and a suitable UV-transmitting photographic lens which has adequate glass substrates for the transmission of UV light.