Solar Observing

The Sun is a fascinating astronomical object to observe. However, extreme care is required if you wish to observe the Sun safely. Never look directly at the Sun with the naked eye or with any optical instrument. You must be familiar with the safe observing methods before attempting to observe the Sun.

The Solar Observing part of this website gives my solar observations since 1997 and throughout the last two solar cycles and much more! Included is information on how to observe the Sun. 

Greatest Sunspot Groups

2022 marked the 75th anniversary since the appearance of the largest recorded sunspot group in April 1947. I've written a book describing the appearance of this group, four other great sunspot groups from the same solar cycle together with great groups in 1989 and 2014. A variety of sources have been used to show the passage of these groups sunspot groups across the solar disk including solar drawings from Mt Wilson Observatory and the Japanese observer Hisako Koyama. In addition, the passage of a further 24 great groups are shown as well an area measurement of the Carrington Event sunspot group from 1st September 1859. Further details on downloading the book for free can be found here.

Noctilucent Clouds (NLC)

These clouds can be seen during the summer months when the Sun is between 6° and 16° below the horizon and usually between 50° and 70° latitude (north and south). For those of us in the northern hemisphere, they will be seen towards the NW horizon after sunset and the NE horizon before sunrise. They are seen by reflected sunlight from very high clouds at altitudes of about 80 km (50 miles) and appear much brigher than any normal tropospheric clouds. Images I've taken can be seen via the NLC part of the website.