The Sun

The Sun
The Sun emitting an M6 Solar Flare (bottom left) – Composite image in the ultaviolet wavelengths 193 and 335 Ångstroms. (Credit: NASA/SDO) – click to enlarge

The Sun is our local star, located at the centre of our solar system. It is around 333,000 times the mass, and around 109 times the diameter, of the Earth.

The Sun is a main-sequence star of spectral class G2V,  unofficially categorised as a “yellow dwarf” star.


Warning: you should never look directly at the Sun, even through sunglasses, as this can result in permanent damage to your eyes! Specially designed eclipse glasses must be worn to observe solar eclipses.

The Sun can be observed safely, however, by carefully projecting the image from a telescope or binoculars onto a piece of white paper or card. Never be tempted to look directly through the telescope or binoculars, while doing so, however, as this could result in instant and permanent blindness.

Even projecting the Sun’s image through a small telescope, or binoculars, will reveal any large sunspots which may be present.

Alternatively, special solar filters are available, although these should always be designed specifically for the model of telescope you are using.

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Astronomy, Cosmology, Space and Astrophysics