By Lee Macdonald
The sunlight is the nearest superstar to Earth, and the one one we will be able to realize in any type of element. As such it's a interesting box of analysis. It additionally has the sensible virtue, in contrast to another astronomical item, of being seen within the sunlight hours! After an creation to the solar as a celeb, the booklet concentrates totally on useful elements for newbie observers: the gear wanted, tips on how to set it up, how you can list observations, and the way to photo the solar with traditional or electronic cameras.
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Extra info for How to Observe the Sun Safely
However, sunspots do not always show the circular outline shown above, with the penumbra concentricaily surrounding the umbra. Often the penumbra is more elongated on one side than on the other, and this can itself cause a "Wilson Effect" when the spot is near the limb. For example, if the penumbra shows more elongation towards the west, this will remain visible as the sunspot approaches the western limb, giving the impression that the spot is a depression. Conversely, a spot with a penumbra displaced towards the east can sometimes show the opposite of the Wilson Effect: penumbra broader towards the centre of the disc, and narrower towards the limb.
A spot in its early stages of development is often surrounded by faculae, mentioned above when we discussed limb darkening. Indeed, faculae often herald the formation of sunspots. If you see a prominent dump of faculae at the eastern limb, it would not be surprising to see a sm all spot in the same region within the next day or two. The smallest spots often disappear after a day or less, but if the spot survives then over the next two or three days the initial spot is joined by another spot dose by, the two forming a "bipolar" sunspot group - that is, a group of two spots of opposite magnetic polarity.
You may ask why, when a number of solar filters have been available commercially for years and have been tried and tested to be safe, I still recommend the old-fashioned projection method. The reason is that projection has several distinct advantages over filters. The first is that it is completely safe. Filters can be Equipment for Observing the Sun 29 damaged and even small scratches or pinholes in their delicate metallic coatings can allow dangerous radiation to pass through. It is also possible for filters to be blown off the telescope by gusts of wind or fall off if not properly secured - with disastrous consequences for the observer's eyesight.