Coronado PST (Personal Solar Telescope) Review

Coronado PST

Price: $899.99

Southern California has a reputation for mild sunny days. But for those of us who live in coastal California, those beautiful sunny days are often followed by cloudy nights when the low clouds roll in from off the coast. This is particularly the case during the late spring and early summer.

Daytime Astronomy is Possible

Fortunately, astrophotography doesn’t have to be limited to nighttime efforts. A very interesting celestial object is visible in broad daylight, as long as the sky is clear. You guessed it. It is the sun. It might seem like just a bright glob of white light, but given the right equipment, the sun is a fascinating object to observe. Enter the Coronado PST (personal solar telescope).


Incredible detail revealed

The Coronado is a very affordable telescope dedicated to solar observation and photography. Many telescope add-on filters are simply white light filters or neutral density filters (ND) that only dim the light of the sun so you can look at it through a telescope or camera. There won’t be much detail seen with these types of filters, although sunspots are readily visible. What is great about the Coronado scope is that it has a built-in hydrogen alpha filter which only passes light at 656.3 nanometers to pass through. This wavelength is emitted by the sun’s chromosphere and reveals features in sharp detail that are not visible without the filter. The visible surface of the sun reveals filaments (threads that appear dark), flares (bright bursts), sunspots (cooler areas that appear darker), and prominences (loop-like eruptions). There are stand-alone hydrogen alpha filters that can be placed in front of a telescope or camera that can do the same thing, but they tend to be quite expensive. The Coronado PST, on the other hand, can be had for less than $1000.


This scope can be used year-round in the daytime, but it also “shines” (pun intended) when it comes to observing the partial phases of a solar eclipse. The filter on this scope can actually be “tuned” to enhance the various surface features. It has a built-in solar finder which allows finding and pointing at the sun safely. It doesn’t come with its own mount, but I highly recommend the Sky-Watcher Solar Quest sun tracker for both visual and photographic purposes. This very affordable mount will automatically point the scope to the sun and track it accurately for hours, keeping it solidly in the field of view. This is the perfect equipment combination for solar observing in general, but for those adventurers who want to observe solar eclipses without fussing with the equipment, this is a no-brainer. Both scope and mount are very light and portable, making it easy to travel to those remote eclipse locations.

Coronado PST mounted on example mount


Key Specs:

· Aperture 40 mm

· Focal length 400 mm

· Focal ratio f/10

· Weight 3 lbs.

· Standard tripod attachment (tripod not included)



· Affordable

· Portable

· Lightweight

· Good for solar eclipses



· Can’t use for nighttime imaging or observing

· No tripod


Verdict: 5/5 Stars


This scope is perfect for its intended purpose, which is to observe the sun. It is affordable and can offer incredible detail for the features of the sun that are visible in the hydrogen alpha wavelength. I recommend pairing with the Sky-Watcher Solar Quest for the best experience: an effortless viewing of our star.

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