The Sun and Solar Telescopes

The Sun and Solar Telescopes

This activity has two parts to it:

Structure of the Sun: We use a (very) large styrofoam hemisphere to display a cut-away model of the Sun. We point out the different "zones" of the solar interior (radiative and convective) as well as the visible features on the surface of the Sun (prominences and sunspots).
 

Solar Telescopes: After learning about the observable features of the Sun, the students are invited to look through our solar telescopes. We use both regular telescopes with solar filters and a special H-alpha solar telescope. We teach the students how filters work, and why it would be a bad idea to look at the Sun through a normal telescope. You can sometimes see sunspots and large prominences through our telescopes.