The sun is a fascinating target for observation. Even at minimums of its 11-year cycle (such as early/mid 2007), there are still features such as sunspots and prominences which can be observed with equipment available to amateurs.
These images are taken in white light using Baader solar film. This is optical-grade foil which blocks all but 0.001% of incoming light; attached to the objective end of the telescope it allows safe visual and photographic viewing.
Never look directly at the sun using any instrument unless you know what you are doing. Permanent blindness is the most likely result.
|This is an image of the sun taken April 28, 2007. Images taken with Baader film appear monochrome black and white; these images have been colourised in Photoshop to give a more natural appearance.
EvoStar 100ED, EOS350D, Baader solar film.
|A closeup of the sunspot group visible in the above image.
Sunspots are slightly cooler then their surrounding solar atmosphere – “only” about 4,000° Celsius.
|A further closeup of the active region in the image above.|
|These images were taken a day after the ones above. It’s very large in dimension, but clearly shows that the sunspot has moved in 24 hours – demonstrating that like the earth (and everything else in the solar system) the sun rotates. The solar ‘day’ is around 25 days.
This explainer shows the earth and sun to scale, with a closeup of the sunspot region.
Warning – this image is big…