Gregory Gross

Current Solar Images

WARNING: When observing the Sun, be sure to use only equipment designed specifically for that purpose and produced by reputable manufacturers. Follow their directions closely. Do not improvise your own filter material for solar observing. If you are careless, you risk instant and permanent injury and/or vision loss.

The following is an aggregation of various online resources that show current solar conditions.

Mount Wilson Observatory

The 150-foot Solar Tower at the Mount Wilson Observatory makes their daily current sunspot drawing available online.

Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) Images

The Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) posts up-to-the-minute H-alpha images of the Sun’s chromosphere. These images are a close representation of what one would see in the eyepiece of a telescope equipped with an H-alpha filter. For more information, see the GONG H-alpha information page and NSO information page.

High-quality images dating back to 2010 are available via FTP. Magnetogram images and Potential-field Source-surface (PFSS) models (see this information page for more) are also available.

Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Images

The following is a selection of SDO images pulled from the SDO Data page. They represent views of the Sun’s photosphere, chromosphere, transition region, and corona. Refer to this article on how SDO sees the Sun and these descriptions of SDO imaging in various wavelengths for more information. These images are provided as a courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.

Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI)

Stanford University HMI Home Page

Archive of HMI images since May 1, 2010

HMI Intensitygram / Continuum

Flattened view of visible light that is useful for seeing sunspots:

SDO HMI
NASA/SDO

HMI Magnetogram

Magnetic field polarity of the photosphere (white is north/outward polarity and black is south/inward polarity):

SDO HMI Magnetogram
NASA/SDO

Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA)

The following images depict the Sun in various wavelengths measured in Angstroms (Å).

AIA 1700 Å

Photosphere and chromosphere (48-hour video):

SDO AIA 1700 Å
NASA/SDO

AIA 304 Å

Chromosphere and transition region (48-hour video):

SDO AIA 304 Å
NASA/SDO

AIA 193 Å

Corona and solar flare plasma (48-hour video):

SDO AIA 193 Å
NASA/SDO

Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) Images

The following is a selection of STEREO images pulled from the STEREO latest images page. They indicate solar features that are about to rotate into view here on Earth. For comparison, images from SDO AIA indicate Earth-facing views.

STEREO 195 Å

STEREO 195 Å
NASA/STEREO

SDO AIA 193 Å

SDO AIA 193 Å
NASA/SDO

STEREO 304 Å

STEREO 304 Å
NASA/STEREO

SDO AIA 304 Å

SDO AIA 304 Å
NASA/SDO

Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) Images

The following SOHO images are pulled from the SOHO Images page. See this article for descriptions of the types of images that SOHO captures.

Large Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) Images

Inner Corona

Up to 8.4 million kilometers (5.25 million miles) in width:

SOHO Inner Corona
NASA/SOHO

Outer Corona

Up to 45 million kilometers (about 30 million miles) in width:

SOHO Outer Corona
NASA/SOHO