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More sunspot images

Here is an image of sunspot group 798/808 taken today at around 14:30 GMT today. Although still not a great quality image, you can see more detail in the complex in this image - it really is amazingly huge. The major prominance of yesterday has shrunk quite a bit, but there are several other impressive ones to look at.

The Sun in H-alpha light
The Sun in H-alpha light on 12th September 2005 CREDIT: Dave / Megan (one of us took it, not sure who!)

One thing I have to stress is that you should NEVER look at the Sun through any kind of optical aid: telescopes, binoculars, or any kind of magnifying lens. Really you should avoid looking at it using just your eyes. It is very bright and very hot and you WILL damage your eyes if you try it. The only really safe way to view the Sun is by projection. The folks over at the BBC have some useful tips on how to view an eclipse safely which apply just as well to the Sun normally.

This image was taken using a special telescope which uses some fancy optics to block out 99.999... per cent of the Sun's light. The image is red because the only light that gets through is in the red part of the spectrum at a wavelength of 656 nanometres, a particular colour of light which is emitted by the hydrogen atom. This allows you to see more details on the surface of the Sun than you can with white light. The view through the eyepiece is far more spectacular than these images but, unfortunately, my camera is just not good enough to image it. Much better images can be found over at SOHO.

Posted by Megan on Tuesday 13th Sep 2005 (23:32 UTC) | Add a comment | Permalink


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Last updated: Sunday, 22-Jun-2014 23:32:13 BST