A. About Optolong's H-alpha (12nm) Filter
The Optolong H-alpha (Hydrogen-alpha) narrowband filter is designed to improve the visibility of various deep sky objects. It does this by:
- Selectively reducing the transmission of wavelengths of light pollutants, specifically those produced by artificial lighting (including mercury vapor lamps, both high & low pressure sodium vapor lights, and the unwanted natural light caused by neutral oxygen emission in our atmosphere (i.e. skyglow)).
- Allowing 12nm bandwidth of light centered on a wavelength of 656nm to pass through.
The narrowband H-alpha astrophotography filter provides very high contrast to reveal subtle nebula details.
B. Main Uses and Performance
- Suitable for viewing faint emission nebula in the H-Alpha line, even in full moonlight or in severe light pollution.
- Narrowband imaging with SHO (S-II, H-alpha, and O-III) set can be done with the moon up in heavy light pollution, so your equipment is not sitting dormant for several weeks.
- Hubble look of images can be made by the combination of H-alpha, OIII-CCD and SII-CCD images, such as the famous "Pillars of Creation" (M16 Eagle Nebula).
- H-alpha filter is the first narrowband addition to the LRGB set for most imagers who blend a black-and-white Ha image into RGB data to enhance structural detail while maintaining a natural look.
C. Spectral Curve Transmission Characteristics
- 90% transmission at H-alpha line 656nm
- 0.1% transmission of major transmission lines of artificial light pollution:
- Hg (Mercury) at 435.8nm, 546.1nm, 577nm, and 578.1nm.
- Na (Sodium) at 598nm, 589.6nm, 615.4nm, and 616.1nm.
- It also blocks out infrared wavelengths (700-1100nm) so a separate IR cut-off filter is not required for imaging applications.
D. Technical Specifications
- Both surfaces are fine optically polished, accurate to 1/4 wavelength or better, and parallel to within 30 seconds or arc.
- 2mm thick Schott B270 optical glass substrate material.
- Very high surface quality of 60/40 or better (US Military Spec MIL-O-13830).
E. Optical Coating Specifications
- Multi layer anti-reflection coated.
- Non-cementing optical substrate coating.
- Electron-beam gun evaporation with Ion-assisted deposition coating technology for durability and resistance to scratching, as well as stability on CWL (central wavelength) so that there is no deviation due to temperature changes during use.
- Precise and homogeneous coatings ensure high values of desired passband and blocking of unwanted offband.
- Every single filter is tested and passed by Optolong before shipping to dealers.
- 2" astronomy filter with standard M48x0.75 male filter thread (no female thread, so it cannot be stacked with other filters).
- Ultra-thin filter cell to minimize vignetting; clear optical aperture of 45mm.
- Precision CNC-machined metal filter cell with sand blasted black anodized finish, anti-reflection treatment, and laser engraving.
- High quality protective plastic storage case.
WARNING: Optolong filters are not designed for direct solar observation. NEVER use these filters for observing or imaging the Sun, or permanent eye and equipment damage will result.
While Optolong is a relative newcomer to the astronomy industry, they are no strangers to optics and filters. Optolong is a division of Yulong Optics Company, a high tech company specializing in optical filter design and production. Their products include bandpass filters, flourescence filters, edge filters, longpass and shortpass filters, beam splitters, anti-reflection coatings, optical mirrors and, of course, astronomical filters.
Established in 1999 and based in Kunming City, China, Optolong/Yulong provides nearly 2000 types of optical filter coatings annually to customers worldwide in a wide variety of industries and applications. We invite you to learn more about Optolong/Yulong, their products, facilities, and processes by viewing the short video below: