Gregory Gross

Solar Astronomy Resources

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.

Space Weather and News

Space Weather Prediction Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Stanford Solar Center (includes current solar images).

HMI Science Nuggets.


Charles Young, The Sun (Appleton, 1897).

Rainer Beck, Heinz Hilbrecht, Klaus Reinsch and Peter Völker, editors, Solar Astronomy Handbook (Willmann-Bell, 1995).

Jamey L. Jenkins, Observing the Sun: A Pocket Field Guide (Springer, 2013).

Lee Macdonald, How to Observe the Sun Safely (Springer-Verlag, 2012).

Kenneth Lang, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Sun (Cambridge University Press, 2001).


Lunt Solar Systems in Tucson, Arizona.

Observer’s Guide to the H-alpha Sun by Bob King (Sky and Telescope).

H-alpha Solar Telescopes: An In-depth Discussion and Survey by Ian Morrison.

Solar Equipment Reviews by Stephen Ramsden.

Online Discussion Forums

Solar Observing and Imaging Forum on Cloudy Nights.

Insightful Cloudy Nights postings by BYoesle:


Organizations and Events

Solar Section of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) — available for download is The AAVSO Solar Observing Guide.

Solar Section of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO) — available for download is Guidelines for the Observation of White Light Solar Phenomena (2010).

Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society.

Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project (see also science and outreach page).

Solar Week.

Solar Cycle Science.


Ground-based Observatories and Programs

List of Solar Telescopes (Wikipedia).

National Solar Observatory (NSO) operates the following:

Big Bear Solar Observatory.

Swedish 1-meter Solar Telescope (SST) at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma in the Canary Islands (Wikipedia).

The 150-Foot Solar Tower at Mount Wilson Observatory.

Teide Observatory on Tenerife, Spain (Wikipedia).

Space-based Instruments

Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), launched in 1995 (Wikipedia). Note that the MDI observation program (i.e., Continuum and Magnetogram images) have been discontinued as of April 12, 2011, and have been superseded by SDO/HMI (see this page for details).

Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO), launched in 2006 (Wikipedia).

Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), launched in 2010 (Wikipedia).

Parker Solar Probe, launched in 2018 (Wikipedia).

Solar Orbiter, launched in 2020 (Wikipedia).