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

08/17/18: First Science with ALMA’s Highest-Frequency Capabilities A team of scientists using the highest-frequency capabilities of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has uncovered jets of warm water vapor streaming away from a newly forming star. The researchers also detected the “fingerprints” of an astonishing assortment of molecules near this stellar nursery. [spectroscopy]

07/18/18: Discovering Structure in the Outer Corona. Scientists have discovered never-before-detected, fine-grained structures in the Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona. The team imaged this critical region in detail using sophisticated software techniques and longer exposures from the COR-2 camera on board NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory-A (STEREO-A). Read the original paper.[Nanoflares]

07/17/18: How does the sun's rotational cycle influence lightning activity on earth?. A collaborative research team has taken the first steps to understanding how the sun's rotational cycle influences lightning activity. They found answers in an unusual source -- diaries dating back to the 1700s. [Space Weather]

05/24/18: Expanded Owens Valley Solar Array Reveals New Insights into Solar Flares' Explosive Energy Releases. Last September, a massive new region of magnetic field erupted on the Sun’s surface next to an existing sunspot. The powerful collision of magnetic fields produced a series of potent solar flares, causing turbulent space weather conditions at Earth. These were the first flares to be captured, in their moment-by-moment progression, by NJIT’s recently expanded Owens Valley Solar Array (EOVSA). [Solar Flares]

03/06/18: 70-year-old mystery of how magnetic waves heat the Sun cracked. Scientists at Queen's University Belfast have led an international team to the ground-breaking discovery that magnetic waves crashing through the Sun may be key to heating its atmosphere and propelling the solar wind. [Solar Flux Ropes]

03/01/18: Sounding Rocket Mission Will Trace Auroral Winds. Understanding the contribution that aurora make to the total amount of energy that enters and leaves Earth’s geospace system — referred to as auroral forcing — is one of the major goals of the NASA-funded Auroral Zone Upwelling Rocket Experiment, or AZURE. AZURE is the first of eight sounding rocket missions launching over the next two years as part of an international collaboration of scientists known as The Grand Challenge Initiative – Cusp. [Auroras]

02/26/18: Proxima Centauri's no good, very bad day. A team of astronomers led by Carnegie’s Meredith MacGregor and Alycia Weinberger detected a massive stellar flare—an energetic explosion of radiation—from the closest star to our own Sun, Proxima Centauri, which occurred last March. This finding raises questions about the habitability of our Solar System’s nearest exoplanetary neighbor, Proxima b, which orbits Proxima Centauri.

02/14/18: Scientists directly observe electron dynamics of the Northern Lights. The shower of electrons bouncing across Earth's magnetosphere -- commonly known as the Northern Lights -- has been directly observed for the first time by an international team of scientists. While the cause of these colorful auroras has long been hypothesized, researchers had never directly observed the underlying mechanism until now. [Auroras]

02/09/18: Astrophysicists settle century-old cosmic debate on magnetism of planets and stars. Using one of the world's most powerful laser facilities, a team of scientists experimentally confirmed a long-held theory for cosmic magnetic field generation: the turbulent dynamo. By creating a hot turbulent plasma the size of a penny, that lasts a few billionths of a second, the researchers recorded how the turbulent motions can amplify a weak magnetic field to the strengths of those observed in our sun, distant stars, and galaxies. [Magnetic Fields}

02/08/18: Towards a better prediction of solar eruptions. Just one phenomenon may underlie all solar eruptions. Researchers have identified the presence of a confining 'cage' in which a magnetic rope forms, causing solar eruptions. It is the resistance of this cage to the attack of the rope that determines the power and type of the upcoming flare. This work has enabled the scientists to develop a model capable of predicting the maximum energy that can be released during a solar flare. [Solar Flares]

Additional news items