Sunspotter Observing Program

There are lots of programs sponsored by the Astronomical League for our registered club members. The Sunspotter Observing Program is one that any of our club members can complete and if you haven’t done one before, a good one to start with.

WARNING! Be sure and use certfiied sun protrection filters for your eyes, cameras, binoculars, & telescopes! Not using a solar filter, or using a poor quality filter, could permently damage your eyes or destroy your equipment. If you need solar viewing glasses, see myself or Dave Huntz for a free pair.

Details on completing the program are at:

Once you’ve completed the program, you need to send your documentation to, I’ll certify it and forward it the AL. You’ll receive a pin and certificate, which will be presented to you at the next club meeting.

The AL has a LOT of oberving programs.

Look for one that appeals to you! They have programs for all levels of expertise, from complete beginner to expert.

Sunspotters are some of the best equipment to safely view the sun - either for studying sunspot activity or solar eclipses. However, they are expensive.

Sunspotter Solar Telescope. When I first wrote grants to obtain the ones we had at Norman North, they cost ~$400. Now they are available at around $700. (Astronomical Society of the Pacific)
One of my fellow SOFIA teachers (Cris DeWolf) just posted these plans for a linear SSV which provide a much cheaper, linear version - made with either wood or cardboard box version.

Cris DeWolf ([0]=AZXRGBFoCSHRXAYXrqhUr4bNzu5gdPQ7oSugrSrVKMZT3rg8meuxvet1-8hzzfCk2ICkdf1DEzq_gZ4CWrwFDLZPkV73eo7PUn0eB9saGpFPMG_owY_eZ7UGRYBv2ME4aHeFuq2NY6vxW_x1v-WlZ5fuOr8arYFL5P4uecknLcJB3QQq-Miqw0egaA3B-52HgLU&__tn__=R]-R)

I’ve made both the wooden version (2017 eclipse) and the cardboard box version of this. A small group can easily gather around and view the projected image of the sun. Image size is comparable to the Sunspotter. Safe Solar Viewer

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