Do You Want To Look For Sunspots?

 

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You can use an Astroscan telescope to safely observe a reflected image of the Sun.
Observations allow you to see sunspots which are magnetic storms on the surface of the Sun.
 
 


Investigation One: Observe the Sun

Students collect data from daily observations to draw conclusions about solar activity.

Materials:
    * Astroscan telescope
    * NASA's daily image
    * Solar Image Grid PDF
    * pencil
    * white cardstock or posterboard

Procedure:
1. Set up the telescope according to the directions for use.
2. Position children so that they can see the viewing screen.
3. Record location of sunspots seen on the Solar Image Grid.
4. Compare your data to the NASA sunspot image of the day.

Questions:
   * Can you find the sunspots that you observed on the NASA image?
   * What do you have to do to align your image with the NASA image?

Extensions:
    * Find the actual daily sunspot count and keep a record.
    * See the sunspots on the farside of the Sun.

Learn more about sunspots.


Investigation Two: Observe sunspots over time

Keep records of your daily observations (actual or web) to make discoveries about the Sun.

Materials:
    * Solar Image Grid PDF
    * Sunspots Over Time Graph PDF
    * pencil

Procedure:
1. Record the daily count and location of sunspots for 2-3 weeks.
2. Use the records to draw conclusions about sunspot activity.

Questions:
    *Do sunspots change from day to day?  If so how?
    *What do you learn about the sun by observing sunspots daily?
    *What new questions do you have?

Extensions:
    * Make a flip book of your images.

Learn more about solar activity.



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