Update Friday, August 5th:

Sunspot group 1260 has almost rotated off the Sun's visible disk, but the other two groups are still going strong.The biggest group. 1263, should remain spectacular well into next week. Check spaceweather.com for the latest on sunspots and aurora forecasts. The original story starts below.

The Sun has been getting more active ever since solar minimum ended last year, and this week it's putting on its best show in nearly a decade.

The Sun Aug 3, 2011


Sunspot groups 1260, 1261, and 1263 look great through a properly filtered telescope, and 1261 and 1263 have both been spotted with no optical aid at all except a solar filter. All of these groups have blasted multiple flares aimed in our direction, so there’s also a good chance of aurora activity on the coming nights. If you have access to a solar filter, or some safe way to project an image of the Sun to share the views with a group, get out and enjoy some daytime astronomy!

See the solar observing section of our website for techniques and tips on viewing the Sun.


Image of Bill Simpson

Bill Simpson

August 8, 2011 at 3:11 am

Don't buy a solar telescope like the Coronado PST. They are addictive. You will find yourself standing out in the hot sun watching gasses trying to escape the enormous gravity along the magnetic field lines around the edge. They look like those funny trees in Africa's Great Rift Valley where Africa is being torn in half. You will find yourself buying 5, 5.5, and 6mm eyepieces to get the best view, depending on the seeing conditions. Sometimes you will go out several times a day to check on the movement of the spots, or to check the prominences. You will look for the bright spots around the dark ones. Before you know it, you will buy a larger solar telescope and run out of money. Hopefully, before you get frostbite.
Could they make this print any smaller? Just saying. I know. I could make it bigger by clicking the gear thing, but I like the challenge.

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