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 program for your community organization, state or federal agency, library, school or classroom.

What does a Program include? | Request a Program

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

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

04/11/19: Experts predict a long, deep solar minimum. An international panel of researchers led by NASA and NOAA has released a new prediction for the solar cycle. According to their analysis, the current solar minimum is going to deepen, potentially reaching a century-class low in the next year or so. This will be followed by a new Solar Max in the years 2023-2026.

04/05/19: Solar experts predict the Sunís activity in Solar Cycle 25 to be below average, similar to Solar Cycle 24, Scientists charged with predicting the Sunís activity for the next 11-year solar cycle say that itís likely to be weak, much like the current one. The current solar cycle, Cycle 24, is declining and predicted to reach solar minimum - the period when the Sun is least active - late in 2019 or 2020.

04/05/19: Unexpected Rain on Sun Links Two Solar Mysteries. Emily Mason and her coauthors describe the first observations of coronal rain in a smaller, previously overlooked kind of magnetic loop on the Sun. After a long, winding search in the wrong direction, the findings forge a new link between the anomalous heating of the corona and the source of the slow solar wind ó two of the biggest mysteries facing solar science today. [Nanoflares; Solar Wind]

04/03/19: Researchers pinpoint origin of photons in mysterious gamma-ray bursts. Researchers have used simulations to demonstrate that the photons emitted by mysterious events called gamma ray bursts come from the photosphere of the expanding relativistic jet. [Solar Prominences]

03/25/19: Race at the edge of the Sun: Ions are faster than atoms. Ions move faster than atoms in the gas streams of a solar prominence. Scientists at the University of GŲttingen, the Institut d'Astrophysique in Paris and the Istituto Ricerche Solari Locarno have observed this. The results of the study were published in The Astrophysical Journal. [Solar Prominences]

03/12/19: Tied in knots: New insights into plasma behavior focus on twists and turns. Whether zipping through a star or a fusion device on Earth, the electrically charged particles that make up the fourth state of matter better known as plasma are bound to magnetic field lines like beads on a string. Unfortunately for plasma physicists who study this phenomenon, the magnetic field lines often lack simple shapes that equations can easily model. Often they twist and knot like pretzels. Sometimes, when the lines become particularly twisted, they snap apart and join back together, ejecting blobs of plasma and tremendous amounts of energy. [Plasma]

03/12/19: Probability of catastrophic geomagnetic storm lower than estimated. According to a group of mathematics researchers, the probability in the following decade of the sun causing a storm strong enough to affect electrical and communication infrastructures around the globe 'only' reaches 1.9 percent maximum. Nevertheless, the event would produce severe consequences and governments should be prepared, researchers warn. [Space Weather]

03/11/19: Researchers uncover additional evidence for massive solar storms. Solar storms can be far more powerful than previously thought. A new study has found evidence for the third known case of a massive solar storm in historical times. The researchers believe that society might not be sufficiently prepared if a similar event were to happen now.[Space Weather]

03/03/19: Spectroscopy on individual molecules. While spectroscopic measurements are normally averaged over myriad molecules, a new method developed by researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) provides precise information about the interaction of individual molecules with their environment. This will accelerate the identification of efficient molecules for future photovoltaic technologies. [Spectroscopy]

01/25/19: Surprising Explanation for Differences in Southern and Northern Lights. For many years, scientists assumed the aurora seen around the north pole was identical to the aurora seen around the south pole. However, in 2009, scientists discovered aurora can look differently around the north pole and the south pole, including having different shapes and occurring at different locations - a phenomenon called asymmetry. Now, a new study in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics explains how this asymmetry comes about and causes the differences in auroral displays near Earth's poles. The new research finds the differences in aurora are likely caused by squeezing of Earth's magnetotail - a magnetic tail that extends away from our planet - by the solar wind and the Sun's magnetic field. [Auroras]

01/19/19: From emergence to eruption: Comprehensive model captures life of a solar flare. A team of scientists has, for the first time, used a single, cohesive computer model to simulate the entire life cycle of a solar flare: from the buildup of energy thousands of kilometers below the solar surface, to the emergence of tangled magnetic field lines, to the explosive release of energy in a brilliant flash.

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