Exploring the Solar System: Observe the Sun (2019)

  • Observe the Sun
NISE Network product

This activity lets participants safely view the Sun and study features on its face. A solarscope projects an image of the Sun on a flat surface, where visitors can trace its outline and mark any sunspots on a sheet of paper. Taking solar observations over the course of several days will allow you to track trends in solar activity, too!



Big Idea

The Sun, a hot ball of glowing gas, is the star at the center of our solar system.

Learning Goals
  • Special tools allow scientists to carefully and safely observe the Sun—just like you!
  • Some NASA scientists study solar activity to better understand how EArth and the rest of the solar system respond to the Sun.



This material is based on work supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award numbers NNX16AC67A and 80NSSC18M0061. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Owning institution

Museum of Life and Science



Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0 United States (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US).
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Development Process

NISE Network products are developed through an iterative collaborative process that includes scientific review, peer review, and visitor evaluation in accordance with an inclusive audiences approach. Products are designed to be easily edited and adapted for different audiences under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. To learn more, visit our Development Process page.