Sun Observation

In this observation, you will be observing the sun and learning about the current space weather forecast. Since we cannot directly observe the sun without blinding our eyes, we will be looking at the sun from the comfortable seats on your house, or on a laptop which could even be connected in your carport while you are winter camping someplace. Your assignment is to complete this worksheet by surfing the web on recommended websites for answers to my questions.


This e-mail format will NOT let you fill in an answer, click on a website, fill in another answer, and click on another website. Everytime you move from webpage to webpage, the previous information or answers you have typed in will be deleted. YOU NEED TO GET YOUR ANSWERS ON A SEPARATE PIECE OF PAPER FIRST, GO THROUGH THE QUESTIONS, AND THEN FILL IN ALL OF THE BLANKS AT ONE TIME.


Your Name:

E-mail Address (Required):

#1 What is special about December 22, 2007? (A link to a helpful page)

#2a In the box below, indicate what day, month, year, and time you are doing this particular observation.

#2b How many sunspots are presently on the sun’s surface? To discover this answer, go to Space Weather.

#3 Please go to and enter the SOHO website. What is SOHO? Now, click on box that says "The Sun Now" and look closely at the MDI Continuum photo of the sun as it appears today, and count the number of visible sunspots on the sun’s disk. How many spots do you count in the image?

#4 Please look at this next website to answer a few questions. The site is The questions are
What is the "space weather forecast" for today?
I. solar wind speed:
II. How far south did the Auroral Loop extend when you were logging onto the site?:
III. solar flare possibility (X and M class):
IV. geomagnetic storm forecast: (mid-latitudes):
V. As you look at this site, is there anything of interest happening today or tonight that might be exciting for astronomers to see, and if so, what might that be?

#5 Finally, go to a relatively new website TRACE and answer one question ... what is "TRACE" and what does it study? After you answer this question, go to Trace Picture of the Day, and spend some time gazing at this"image." Finally, you have got to check out the archives of TRACE satellite pictures. It takes a little time to upload all of the pictures, but when you scroll down and click on some of the images, they might be the most amazing pictures in this entire course. In a few words, describe what you thought of some of these pictures.

What is "TRACE?"

In the space below is the room for your comments about the Trace Archive of Pictures

When you have answered the questions, please press the submit button. Have a nice time viewing the sun :) You should also check the mirror to see if you got too much sun today from this observation, and whether you need some Aloe to reduce the burn.


When you have completed this quiz and are satisfied with your responses, click on the submit button at the bottom of this page, and then you may move to the Star Introduction, or back to the Sun Introduction, or to the Syllabus.

| Home | Course Information | Assignments | Teacher Bio | Course Units | Syllabus | Links |