BBC Sky at Night Magazine Virtual Events

We will be hosting a regular programme of virtual events with fascinating speakers that will take place online and be available to view globally. Find out more about our schedule below and scroll to the bottom for more future events.

How to observe and photograph the Sun safely

Speaker Pete Lawrence

Date Thursday 1 July 2021, 7pm BST

Click here to register and book your ticket today.

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.

A Coronado PST can deliver stunning shots with prominences leaping off the Sun’s limb. Credit: Pete Lawrence
A view of the Sun captured with a Coronado solar telescope, delivering stunning shots with prominences leaping off the Sun’s limb. Credit: Pete Lawrence

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.

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.

Click here to register and book your ticket today.

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