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The Sun - Try This!

The Sun

Try this!

You can generate an image of the Sun by using a pair of binoculars and a thin, stiff piece of cardboard. When viewing the Sun in this manner, you will be able to see the Sun's image more clearly and maybe even some major sunspots.

Sun Image

First, place the cardboard (which will act as a screen onto which the image can be projected) on the ground with one side propped up so that it is approximately perpendicular to the incoming sunlight.

Next, hold the binoculars about two feet above the screen with the large end pointing toward the Sun. You will probably have to move the binoculars around a bit until they are properly aligned, so that the solar image falls onto the screen. When you do see the image, you will find that it is large enough to allow some detail, such as major sunspots, to be seen. WARNING ! DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY THROUGH THE BINOCULARS !

If the brightness of the Sun is too intense, you can block out some of its intensity by making a hole in a small piece of cardboard and taping it over the large end of the binoculars.

This activity was developed by Jacqueline Slay, Largo High School, Largo, MD


A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC

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