Naked eye sunspots

Explore the Night with Bob King

How to Observe and Measure Naked-eye Sunspots

As Solar Cycle 25 ticks up, naked-eye sunspots are becoming more frequent. They're not only fun to observe, but with this simple method you can determine just how big they are. We also have news on a bright supernova!

Annular eclipse

Celestial News & Events

A Sunrise Annular Solar Eclipse

Even if you're not in the path of annularity during the June 10th solar eclipse, get ready for a sunrise spectacle.

Sun

95 Sunrises Along the Columbia Riverbank

Margaret Greenwood explores the changing location of sunrises throughout the year.

Celestial News & Events

AAS's Advice for Safe Solar-Eclipse Viewing

Due to alarming reports of potentially unsafe eclipse viewers as eclipse day approaches, the American Astronomical Society has revised its safety advice.

Sun

Low-Tech Eclipse Viewing

What to do if you're caught without optics on eclipse day. Low-tech eclipse viewing options from pinhole to binocular projection.

Magnetic manifestations

Explore the Night with Bob King

Fun in the Sun: A White-Light Guide to Our Nearest Star

We examine the fascinating solar phenomena that anyone with a small scope and safe solar filter can see, whether the Sun's in eclipse or not.

active region 1520

Stellar Science

How Astronomers Count Sunspots

A multi-year investigation revealed errors in our understanding of the Sun.

Monster in our midst

Explore the Night with Bob King

Observer's Guide to the H-alpha Sun

Want to see a star rock in real time? Observe the Sun in the crimson light of hydrogen alpha and watch it come alive.

Faculae along solar limb on July 18, 2014

Celestial Objects to Observe

Blank Sun? Faculae to the Rescue!

Fascinating faculae provide a way for anyone with a small telescope to track the ups and downs of the solar cycle — even when there are no sunspots.

Halpha sun with prominences

Celestial Objects to Observe

How to Look at the Sun Safely

Our star is an amazing object to observe, whether by eye or with optical aid. These time-tested tips will let you see the solar disk worry-free.

Sun

Safe Solar Observing

When it comes to observing the Sun, remember — safety first!

Celestial Objects to Observe

Solar Filter Safety

Before an eclipse occurs the media often provides information on how to watch the event safely. Unfortunately, despite the best intentions, inaccurate or confusing information on safe observing techniques is often provided. Here are the facts.

Sunspots across the solar face

Celestial Objects to Observe

Sketching Sunspots

Looking for a daytime astronomy project to pursue? Why not set your sights on our nearest star?

solar prominence

Sun

Why do you need a hydrogen-alpha filter to see solar prominences?

If I can see solar prominences with the naked eye during a total eclipse, why do I need a hydrogen-alpha filter to see them at other times? During a total eclipse the Moon completely blocks the Sun’s photosphere, or visible “surface,” allowing prominences (and the corona) to shine in all…

Sun

A Solar Observing Refresher Course

With modest equipment and attention to safety, you can enjoy observational astronomy throughout the day.

Sun through hydrogen-alpha filter

Celestial Objects to Observe

Observing the Sun Safely: Sunspots, Faculae, and Flares

The surface of the Sun is a dynamic, living place that can change unpredictably from day to day.

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