Timmy Telescope Solar Astronomy Outreach

What can I learn about the Sun--our closest star?

With special filtered telescopes you can observe the sun safely without hurting your eyes.There's more to the sun than just a yellow ball. See for yourself what the sun's surface and atmosphere look like--93 million miles away.

Our educators can provide a Solar Astronomy Outreach for your community organization, classroom, school, homeschool association or scout troop. View our brochure for more details.

What does a Solar Outreach include? | Request a Solar Outreach

Video: Timmy live in the Independence National Historical Park

Roger Kennedy, solar astronomy educator, explains Outreach

What's new on the Sun?

For the lastest information about the Sun and how it affects the Earth check SolarHam.com --solar news and data from various sources in one spot for easy navigation.

Current Research

Reversing Prominence. A prominence rose up above the sun, sent an arch of plasma to link up magnetically with an active region over a one-day period (Jan, 9-10, 2017). Then the flow of plasma seemed to largely change direction and head back where it came from. Finally, amidst the confused patterns of movement, it dissipated and fell away. Prominences are cooler clouds of charged particles tenuously tethered to the sun by magnetic forces. Images were taken in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA.

Observe the Sun| tutorial. New Website from UK Solar Physics showing Past and Present Solar Activity

02/14/18: Scientists directly observe electron dynamics of the Northern Lights. The shower of electrons bouncing across Earth's magnetosphere -- commonly known as the Northern Lights -- has been directly observed for the first time by an international team of scientists. While the cause of these colorful auroras has long been hypothesized, researchers had never directly observed the underlying mechanism until now. [Auroras]

02/09/18: Astrophysicists settle century-old cosmic debate on magnetism of planets and stars. Using one of the world's most powerful laser facilities, a team of scientists experimentally confirmed a long-held theory for cosmic magnetic field generation: the turbulent dynamo. By creating a hot turbulent plasma the size of a penny, that lasts a few billionths of a second, the researchers recorded how the turbulent motions can amplify a weak magnetic field to the strengths of those observed in our sun, distant stars, and galaxies. [Magnetic Fields}

02/08/18: Towards a better prediction of solar eruptions. Just one phenomenon may underlie all solar eruptions. Researchers have identified the presence of a confining 'cage' in which a magnetic rope forms, causing solar eruptions. It is the resistance of this cage to the attack of the rope that determines the power and type of the upcoming flare. This work has enabled the scientists to develop a model capable of predicting the maximum energy that can be released during a solar flare. [Solar Flares]

01/30/18: Stellar magnetism: What's behind the most brilliant lights in the sky?. Space physicists at University of Wisconsin–Madison have just released unprecedented detail on a bizarre phenomenon that powers the northern lights, solar flares and coronal mass ejections (the biggest explosions in our solar system).The data on so-called “magnetic reconnection” came from a quartet of new spacecraft that measure radiation and magnetic fields in high Earth orbit. [Magnetic Fields]

01/17/18: Parker Solar Probe Enters Thermal Vacuum Chamber. Parker Solar Probe is slowly lifted and carried to the top of the thermal vacuum chamber, which will simulate the airless environment of space, in addition to conducting intense hot and cold temperature testing.Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/Ed Whitman.

12/11/17: Eclipse 2017: Science from the Moon’s Shadow. On Dec. 11, 2017, six researchers discussed initial findings based on observations of the Sun and on Earth gathered during the solar eclipse that stretched across North America on Aug. 21, 2017

11/28/17: TSIS: Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor. In terms of climate change research, scientists need to understand the balance between energy coming in from the Sun and energy radiating out from Earth. In December 2017, NASA is launching a new instrument to measure half of that equation – the total amount of Sun’s energy input to Earth, known as total solar irradiance. Scientists will use NASA's Total Solar and Spectral Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1) to measure to quantify variations in the sun’s total amount of energy and help improve models simulating Earth’s climate. [Solar Observation]

11/17/17: Solar Minimum Surprisingly Constant - More than Half a Century of Observation yields New Discovery. Using more than half a century of observations, Japanese astronomers have discovered that the microwaves coming from the Sun at the minimums of the past five solar cycles have been the same each time, despite large differences in the maximums of the cycles. [solar cycles]

11/14/17: Proposed NASA Mission Would Investigate Where Space Weather Begins. A NASA team is advancing a mission to reveal unprecedented details about solar flares, powerful eruptions that explode with enough energy that each one could power all of Earth for 16,000 years, and which — when extreme — can interfere with radio communications and satellites near Earth.[Solar Observation]

11/07/17: Alma’s image of red giant star gives a surprising glimpse of the Sun’s future. A Chalmers-led team of astronomers has for the first time observed details on the surface of an aging star with the same mass as the Sun. ALMA:s (Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre Array) images show that the star is a giant, its diameter twice the size of Earth’s orbit around the Sun, but also that the star’s atmosphere is affected by powerful, unexpected shock waves.

8/14/17: Cosmic Opportunity for Readiation Research at ESA. Cosmic radiation is considered the main health hazard to human spaceflight and space exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond, which is why ESA has made cosmic radiation a focus of its research programme. [Health Effects]

6/27/17: Solar Minimum is Coming. Every 11 years or so, sunspots fade away, bringing a period of relative calm, known asthe Solar Minimum. [NASA Sciencecast] [Solar Cycles]

6/22/17: Scientists Uncover Origins of the Sun’s Swirling Spicules. At any given moment, as many as 10 million wild jets of solar material burst from the sun’s surface. They erupt as fast as 60 miles per second, and can reach lengths of 6,000 miles before collapsing. These are spicules, and despite their grass-like abundance, scientists didn’t understand how they form. Now, for the first time, a computer simulation — so detailed it took a full year to run — shows how spicules form, helping scientists understand how spicules can break free of the sun’s surface and surge upward so quickly. [Magnetic Fields]

5/8/17: Space Weather Model Simulates Solar Storms From Nowhere. An international team of scientists has developed a model that simulates the evolution of stealthy solar storms. The scientists relied upon NASA missions STEREO and SOHO for this work, fine-tuning their model until the simulations matched the space-based observations. Their work shows how a slow, quiet process can unexpectedly create a twisted mass of magnetic fields on the sun, which then pinches off and speeds out into space — all without any advance warning. [Space Weather]

Additional news items