Every Picture Tells a Story – Solar observation activity

Solar observation activity.  Credits: GalileoMobile / Megha Bhatt

Solar observation activity. Credits: GalileoMobile / Megha Bhatt

By María Dasí Espuig

When a day was sunny we included a solar observation activity. We projected the image of the Sun on a piece of white paper, using the telescope. On a day when no sunspots are seen, the projected image just looks like a circle of light. During our two weeks in India, however, a huge group of sunspots developed on the Sun. On the circle of light we could see the group of sunspots as dark blobs. We even managed to see the details of the sunspots’ structure! Although I am a solar physicist, I had never done solar projection before since I usually work with satellite images … sad to say because, oh I will remember this day. I never thought it would be so exciting! No need of special equipment or instruments. Just a simple telescope and a piece of white paper and there it was! This activity also had an impact on the children, who were learning about sunspots for the first time and did not expect to see anything on the projected image of the Sun. I was showered with questions during the activity and was delighted to see their interest.

(This tiny story is part of the “Khagol Rath: GalileoMobile in India” photo-book that depicts GalileoMobile’s expedition to India back in 2012. You can download the book here.)

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