Color Filters

Color filters similar to those used by terrestrial photographers are available for visual use in astronomy. They will not do anything to help with the deep sky, but they can be a useful tool for solar system observers. An 80A (blue) filter, for example, can help bring out Jupiter's cloud bands. A red (25) filter can reveal surface detail on Mars. What do numbers like "80A" mean? They are Wratten numbers that specify color and density. One great thing about color filters is that they are cheaper to make and sell for less money than LPR filters. For example, a set of six is available from Orion for $125, less than the cost of one LPR filter. Do colored filters help you see more? Probably not, although some planetary observers swear by them. As they say on the Internet, "YMMV" (your mileage may vary).

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