Highland Road Park Observatory

SOLAR VIEWING

One Saturday per month from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

No admission fee. For all ages.
(solar viewer, $2.00 each)

The hobby of astronomy immediately brings to mind thoughts of darkened backyards and dimly-lit nighttime activities at HRPO. But patrons also have the option of visiting during daylight hours to see our parent star.

Weather permitting, once monthly HRPO personnel offers three views of the Sun☉…

  • 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm - indirect projection onto white viewing surface // Patrons get a sense of the speed of Earth♁’s rotation as they see the Sun☉’s image slide on or off the projection device. [Learning Technologies Sunspotter]
  • 12:15 pm to 1:15 pm - safely-filtered optical light sent through standard telescope // This option allows patrons to spy sunspots both small and large. [Orion 10" Skyquest Dobsonian Reflector]
  • 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm - hydrogen-alpha light // Flares and prominences are seen easily in this wavelength. [Coronado Solar Max II 90mm]

The Saturdays in 2017 for solar viewing are…

28 January
25 February
Solar viewing in March will take place during NanoDays.
Solar viewing in April will take place during International Astronomy Day.
27 May
Solar viewing in June will take place during A.R.R.L. Field Day.
29 July
26 August
30 September
14 October
18 November
16 December

Occasionally—-especially during or near solar maximum—HRPO will schedule a special solar viewing session due to current visible solar activity. These sessions are announced as soon as personnel can confirm a good weather forecast from NOAA.

The solar viewers for sale look like cardboard sunglasses, but they block over 99% of the entirety of the Sun☉’s light and therefore keep eyes safe. The solar viewers are not toys. Please follow all instructions listed on the viewer.

Want to have a keepsake of your visit? Download the Solar Sketching Form below and use your personal artistry to remember your view of the Sun…

Solar Sketching Form DOCX

LSU students take advantage of special solar viewing session on 25 April 2017.
LSU students take advantage of special solar viewing session on 25 April 2017.

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Updated by Frederick J. Barnett on Friday, July 7, 2017, 11:24 AM.