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.

Solar Cycle 25 is predicted to peak around mid-July. Solar activity has been surpassing the level expected by the Solar Weather Prediction Center since at least the beginning of 2022. As of the posting of this text, the surface of the Sun is brewing with sixteen to seventeen Active Regions—an astounding number and a level of activity HRPO personnel have not seen in twenty years.

In anticipation of this peak, there is now scheduled ahead of time one two-hour special viewing of the Sun per month from May to September (the maximum number possible). Extending the solar viewing during ARRL Field Day from two to three hours, that results in twenty-four hours of solar viewing over five months!

The dates and times are…

*Saturday 27 April, 12pm to 2pm (regular Solar Viewing)

*Friday 10 May, 12pm to 2pm (Solar Viewing Special Session)

*Saturday 18 May, 3:15pm to 5:15pm (during International Astronomy Day)

*Thursday 6 June, 12pm to 2pm (Solar Viewing Special Session)

*Saturday 22 June, 2pm to 5pm (during American Radio Relay League Field Day)

*Wednesday 3 July, 11:45am to 2:45pm (Solar Viewing Special Session)

*Saturday 27 July, 12pm to 2pm (regular Solar Viewing)

*Tuesday 13 August, 12:15pm to 2:15pm (Solar Viewing Special Session)

*Saturday 31 August, 12pm to 2pm (regular Solar Viewing)

*Monday 16 September, 12pm to 2pm (Solar Viewing Special Session)

*Saturday 28 September, 12pm to 2pm (regular Solar Viewing)

[Dates and times are subject to change.]

Weather permitting, these time periods will include three views of the Sun…

First – 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]

Second – safely-filtered optical light sent through standard telescope // This option allows patrons to spy sunspots both small and large. [Orion 10” Skyquest Dobsonian Reflector]

Third – hydrogen-alpha light // Flares and prominences are seen easily in this wavelength. [Coronado Solar Max II 90mm]

Patrons should try to not miss these opportunities. The peak of Solar Cycle 26 will not arrive for eight to fourteen years!

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. [Must be twelve years of age or older to purchase. Limit two per purchaser per day.]

Want to have a keepsake of your visit? HRPO provides Solar Sketching Forms. Use your personal artistry to remember your view of the Sun.