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Sun's Fiery Majesty

Our nearest star, the Sun, offers a hidden world of fiery beauty often overlooked by amateur astronomers. With solar telescopes, one can observe a variety of fascinating phenomena on the Sun's surface. Like a beating heart, solar activity peaks every ten years as the solar cycle reaches its maximum. This peak is happening now, resulting in frequent displays of flares and large prominence's almost daily. This heightened activity is expected to continue for several years before gradually normalizing.

High solar activity is particularly visible with dedicated H-alpha solar telescopes, which reveal the intricate beauty of the Sun's chromosphere. These telescopes allow us to see the Sun's dynamic surface in incredible detail, from the swirling patterns of solar prominence's to the explosive release of energy in solar flares and Ellerman bombs. Observing these phenomena not only provides a mesmerizing view but also deepens our understanding of the dynamic nature of our nearest star.

Cheaper alternatives for solar exploration are white-light solar filters and Calcium K-line filters. CaK filters offer enhanced views compared to white light, as they tolerate atmospheric turbulence far better due to shorter wavelength of light being captured. Shorter wavelengths of light pass through our atmosphere less-distorted than longer ones.

Calcium K-line filters reveal the faculae and sunspots with great detail

For those new to solar observation, joining a local astronomy club or visiting an observatory with solar viewing equipment can be an excellent way to start. Many clubs offer guided sessions where experienced astronomers can share their knowledge and provide safe viewing techniques. Additionally, numerous online resources and communities are dedicated to solar observation, offering tips, tutorials, and up-to-date information on current solar events. So take your mount out of storage and put it to good use during the day too!

A solar flare erupting from the edge of the sun