There are essentially two different types of Solar observations available for the amateur astronomer

They are:

1) White light solar Viewing

2) Hydrogen Alpha (H-Alpha) Solar viewing.

I will discuss white light today:

   White light solar viewing permits you to observe direct sunspot activity on the solar
disk, and you can note the patterns of sunspots, size and groupings.

Observing on a regular basis permits you to chart the motion of sunspots over a period of
   Now of course, with any observation of the sun through a telescope you want to be very careful.

First and foremost, you must have some kind of filtration system and this depends on the type of
telescope you have.

    If you own a schmidt-cassegrain (SCT) telescope, then the filter must go on the front of the telescope.

Same thing for any kind of reflecting telescope or dobsonian.

    Now, if you happen to own a refracting telescope, then you actually have a couple of options.

You can mount a filter on the front of your telescope or if you have a quality refractor, that might
be an apochromatic instrument for example, then you might want to consider utilizing this herschel wedge
type of device from Baader Planetarium.


Having said that, it also works very well on achromatic refractor telescopes.

Either way, you must have a 2 inch focuser on your instrument.
Not only will you get high quality images, you will likely see detail you have not seen before.

     Making sketches of your observations is a great way to keep records of your observations.
Date and put the sketches in a binder.  You will be surprised at just how much activity
takes place on the solar disk over time.

Clear and Sunny skies,

Ray Khan

   PS We also have a photographic model for those interested in taking images of the Sun
as well as visually observing.  It includes the neccessary filters for imaging with your
DSLR camera.