|Image of solar Active Regions taken on 2014 May 5th by Carl Bowron. Click to enlarge|
The Sun, our nearest star, is one of the most interesting objects in the sky to observe using a small telescope.
A simple telescope (with a filter or using projection - see below) will show you the sunspots, as they come and go, and the "surface" of the Sun with its granulation giving it a mottled look. Bright areas called faculae are often seen around sunspots when they are near the edge of the Sun's disk.
More advanced is the daily viewing of prominences at the edge of the solar disk using a Hydrogen-alpha filter. These filters (often combined now with a purpose-made small portable telescope) will show features on the Sun's disk called filaments and plages. Occasionally bright solar flares may be seen.
To get you started our solar observing guide shows the various ways to observe the Sun in complete safely and how to make an observation. Please read this guide before attempting to look at the Sun.
Any questions? Please email the Solar Section Director, Geoff Elston with your questions.