Virtual lecture: How to observe and photograph the Sun

In our latest webinar, Pete Lawrence reveals how to observe and photograph the Sun safely.

BBC Sky at Night Magazine webinar. How to observe the Sun, with Pete Lawrence

Please note this webinar has now ended. For more info on upcoming webinars, visit the BBC Sky at Night Magazine Virtual Events page.

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Observing the Sun is a great opportunity to watch the dynamic nature of a star up close, and there are many ways to see captivating solar detail up close, revealing a hidden side to the nuclear furnace at the centre of our Solar System.

But solar observing is also one of the only occasions when astronomy carries a risk of serious damage to health: the Sun’s intense brightness can permanently impair eyesight if looked at directly, with or without a telescope.

Treated with respect, however, it is perfectly possible to enjoy spectacular close-up views of our nearest star and in this talk, expert solar imager Pete Lawrence will guide you through practical steps to safe solar observing, both with and without optical aids.

Pete will show the details that can be viewed with everything from simple eclipse glasses to astro-imaging setups with specialist optical filters  – features like sunspots, cells and prominences – and how these different views can reveal the inner workings of the Sun not visible in normal ‘white light’.

Pete will also look at how to image the Sun and create a lasting record of our star’s dynamic activity, covering the types of equipment best suited to the task and the extra information that, when added, will make observations useful for ongoing scientific investigations.

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As always, you’ll be able to submit your questions throughout the talk, which will be answered live in the second part of the presentation.