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STEREO A and B

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

The Return of Stereo B?

Feared lost for almost two years, NASA's Stereo B solar observatory is now back in (tentative) contact with mission control.

Galileo sunspot drawing

Solar System

Seeing Sunspots as Early Astronomers Did

Astronomers have reconstructed 18-century telescopes to observe sunspots and better understand solar cycles.

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

Explore the Night with Bob King

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 News & Events

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.

Sunspot cycle

Solar System

The Weakest Solar Cycle in 100 Years

Scientists are struggling to explain the Sun’s bizarre recent behavior. Is it a fluke, or a sign of a deeper trend?

Stargazing Basics

How to Make a Sundial the Simple Way

Sundials are amazingly simple yet effective devices. They range from sticks planted in the ground to precision-machined marvels costing thousands of dollars. The design shown here can be constructed in minutes from materials lying around your house, but it's surprisingly accurate.

Astronomy Questions & Answers

What is a Sundog, and How Did "Sundogs" Get Their Name?

Why are "sundogs" called by that name? Before answering the why question, let me answer the what question that comes before: namely, what is a sundog, or mock Sun, in the first place? A sundog is a concentrated patch of sunlight occasionally seen about 22° to the left or right…

Sun through hydrogen-alpha filter

Sun

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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