How to Observe the Sun Safely Book

How to Observe the Sun Safely Book

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About this product

Model:  sprgr_9781461438243
Part Number:  9781461438243

How to Observe the Sun Safely - The Best Sky Objects for Star Gazers

Authors: Macdonald, Lee

  • This new edition provides updated advice to amateur astronomers on how to observe the Sun using digital vs. film cameras
  • Includes more than twice the illustrations and many of them new that explain and illustrate solar phenomena in detail
  • Describes advances in image processing since the first edition was published 

"How to Observe the Sun Safely, 2nd Edition" gives all the basic information and advice the amateur astronomer needs to get started in observing our own ever-fascinating star. Unlike many other astronomical objects, you do not need a large telescope or expensive equipment to observe the Sun. And it is possible to take excellent pictures of the Sun with today's low-cost digital cameras! 

This title concentrates on providing practical, on-the-spot advice to the amateur astronomer who is interested in observing the Sun, using commercially available equipment. This book surveys what is visible on the Sun, before describing how to record solar features and measure solar activity levels. There is also an account of how to use H-alpha and Calcium-K filters to observe and record prominences and other features of the solar chromosphere, the Sun's inner atmosphere. Because we are just entering a period of high activity on the Sun, following a long, quiet period, many more amateur astronomers will become interested in observing it. 

The second edition includes an update of Chapter 2 to reflect advances in solar observing equipment since 2002, and a section on building a solar projection box, originally included in the main body of this chapter has been moved to Appendix A. Also Chapter 6 thru 8 have been completely revised to give amateur astronomers advice on how to use film to photograph the Sun, and how to use digital cameras. This new edition also includes more than twice as many illustrations as the first and almost half of them new images.

About the authors

Lee Macdonald has over 20 years' experience as a solar observer. His work has been published in Astronomy and Astronomy Now, and he is the editor of The Deep-Sky Observer, the magazine of the Webb Deep-Sky Society. Lee currently works as an administrator in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University, UK. Lee is an historian with a degree from Cambridge in History and Philosophy of Science, specializing in history of astronomy. In 2009 he carried out research at the Science Museum, London, UK, on the history of astronomy.


In Macdonald’s book the reader finds different methods and a variety of equipment that can be used for observing our nearest star without any damage to their eyesight and also gets ideas on what to do with the observations. … I found the book very useful … . If you’re thinking of starting to observe the Sun, this is a great book to get more information about all the available options.(Kadri Tinn,, September, 2014)

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