Sunday, October 29, 2017

It's been 4.6 billion years in the making. And we have about 5 billion more years to enjoy it!

Our Sun was born about 4.6 billion years ago, give or take a day. With just about 5 billion years (give or take a day) until our Sun burns up it's fuel, expands, and engulfs the Earth, we have that much quality time to observe it, study it, and be amazed by it.

I have been honored by the Howard Astronomy League (HAL) by being asked to serve as the club's Solar Observing Chairperson. As part of this role, I will be posting a least one blog a month with what I hope will be interesting information relative to Solar observing, imaging, and information. I will also be encouraging those of you who are interested in learning more about our Sun and who already enjoy observing it to participate in get together's and and related solar events. I also encourage you to post your interesting Solar observations on this blog.

When observing the Sun, safety is always the first step. Ensure that you are always and only using telescopes, binoculars, and glasses that are properly filtered to protect you from damaging your eyes or even causing blindness. In a future blog, I will write about Solar safety.

With the light from the Sun arriving here on Earth in just under 8 and half minutes, combined with its ever changing features, every observing event becomes a unique experience. You can go from one day seeing just a big ball in the sky to another day of tremendous activities featuring sunspots, prominence's, filaments, spicule's, plage's, planetary transits, solar flares, and even unexplained happenings. See my next blog on an imaged Solar mystery.

Solar observing can be done anywhere you have a clear view of the sky . I have observed in my backyard, in parking lots, in different States, on the beach, at public events (for all to share), and in the mountains. Technology has reached the point where regardless of the size of your budget, you can safely observe, image, and enjoy the Sun. Because it is best to observe our Sun during the daytime, you don't have to stay up late at night or maybe all night to do your astronomy.

Observing the Sun is fun for all ages.

Until next time....

Clear Skies!

Phil Whitebloom
Howard Astronomy League
Solar Observing Chairperson

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