Go See the Sun

One of the things I like best about working at Sky & Telescope is that nobody thinks twice if you take 10 minutes out of your day to do a little solar observing. I presume the same is true for watching a baseball game while at Sports Illustrated.

This image, taken March 25th with the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, shows a pair of large sunspots that have recently come into view. Click on image for a larger view.
SOHO
Anyway, my office has a beautiful view of the rising Sun in the morning. And as you might expect, perched at my window is my little solar telescope. Its hydrogen-alpha filter allows me to observe the Sun at that specific wavelength. Whenever it's clear, I make sure to take a "morning coffee break" just to see what's up. To be honest, March was pretty boring. But this week has changed all that.

If you have a solar filter or another way to safely view the Sun, be sure to check out the latest group of sunspots that's popped up on the disk. The larger spot is developing and will be fun to keep tabs on over the next few days. And feel free to comment below to let us know what you think of this group.

8 thoughts on “Go See the Sun

  1. Richard Smith

    I had the opportunity to observe this latest sunspot eruption on Monday the 24th for most of the day with a 40mm H-alpha. I noticed that these active regions waxed and waned in intensity throughout the day, and the larger of the two even seemed to have a shape change?! I have not been able to observe this grouping since due to weather. It is nice to see a active Sun again!

  2. Jo Johnson

    I just got done viewing the sun over lunch (March 26) through a 3.5″ Questar. The largest of the bunch has a very irregular shape now and is much larger than the other three.

  3. Thomas Thibault

    I just so happen to set-up my Celestron 8″ SCT Sunday at 11:30 to view the sun using my recently purchased 6.3 focal reducer to see what type of view I would get and to try a couple of photo’s with my Orion Starshooter CCD. This was only my 2nd time viewing the sun and I was pleased to see a Sun Spot on the right edge between the 3 and 4 oclock position. I took quite a bit of shots and when I processed them they came out great. I am only using a Celestron Mylar type filter, so texture is pretty much non-existant.

  4. Thomas Thibault

    I just so happen to set-up my Celestron 8″ SCT Sunday at 11:30 to view the sun using my recently purchased 6.3 focal reducer to see what type of view I would get and to try a couple of photo’s with my Orion Starshooter CCD. This was only my 2nd time viewing the sun and I was pleased to see a Sun Spot on the right edge between the 3 and 4 oclock position. I took quite a bit of shots and when I processed them they came out great. I am only using a Celestron Mylar type filter, so texture is pretty much non-existant.

  5. Nathaniel Shippen

    I saw a couple of sun spots using projection viewing through my Orion SkyQuest 4.5. Also saw a lot of crud on the mirrors — time for a cleaning!

  6. Tom Thibault

    My scope is at Celestron for repair, so I decided to view the sun on March 30th using my 20 x 80 binoculars using with my mylar solar filter, both front lenses fit into the 8″ filter and spreading the lenses held it tight enough. What I saw was a total of 6 sun spots running from NW to SE. Two large ones with companion small spots. The larger of the 2 slightly off center towards the 4 oclock position, it was the largest and was surrounded with a grayed mass. The other larger spot was SE toward the edge of the sun and appeared to have a small black streak extending off to the west. The other two spots were the size of the larger spots companions and were off to the NW of the largest spot. Very nice view, can’t wait for the return of my scope to hopefully get some pictures of the activity.

  7. Tom Thibault

    My scope is at Celestron for repair, so I decided to view the sun on March 30th using my 20 x 80 binoculars using with my mylar solar filter, both front lenses fit into the 8″ filter and spreading the lenses held it tight enough. What I saw was a total of 6 sun spots running from NW to SE. Two large ones with companion small spots. The larger of the 2 slightly off center towards the 4 oclock position, it was the largest and was surrounded with a grayed mass. The other larger spot was SE toward the edge of the sun and appeared to have a small black streak extending off to the west. The other two spots were the size of the larger spots companions and were off to the NW of the largest spot. Very nice view, can’t wait for the return of my scope to hopefully get some pictures of the activity.

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