Sun Spot Observing

Yesterday (and again today to show my mom) I got out my small refracting telescope to try and take a look at a Sun Spot. Of course, this is when I get serious, NEVER look directly at the Sun. It only takes a split second to cause blindness when looking through a collimating device, such as a telescope. So how do you go about observing Sun Spots? Well it is really easy, you get something that will magnify the Sun, telescope (very small will do) or binoculars. Ideally you will have a stand or mount and then gently aim it towards the Sun (obviously not looking through) and make sure all surfaces that could reflect light towards you are covered, i.e – remove finderscopes / cover up one of the binocular lenses so you only use one. Once you have done this get a piece of white card and place it at the focal point (might need to focus eyepiece) of the instrument until you can see the disk (my image below isnt of the whole solar disk), if you are looking at the Sun and there is indeed Sun spots visible (take a look at [SOHO site] to see what the Sun looks like now, actually there is a feed on the left hand menu bar of this page) you will be able to identify them! 🙂 If you get a camera you should then be able to take a picture like I did:

sun spot
This is, of course not the best way to get images of the Sun and I intend to get some filters so I can do direct imaging at some point anyway here is what the Sun looked like at the same time (well almost!) with SOHO:


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