© 2013

Observing the Sun

A Pocket Field Guide


Part of the Astronomer's Pocket Field Guide book series (ASTROPOC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. The Sun

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Jamey L. Jenkins
      Pages 3-16
    3. Jamey L. Jenkins
      Pages 17-108
  3. Observational Techniques

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 109-109
    2. Jamey L. Jenkins
      Pages 111-131
    3. Jamey L. Jenkins
      Pages 133-164
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 165-242

About this book


A comprehensive solar observing guide for use at the telescope by amateur astronomers at all three levels: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. Users will find invaluable information for identifying features through photos, charts, diagrams in a logical, orderly fashion and then interpreting the observations.

Because the Sun is a dynamic celestial body in constant flux, astronomers rarely know for certain what awaits them at the eyepiece. All features of the Sun are transient and sometimes rather fleeting. Given the number of features and the complex life cycles of some solar features, it can be a challenging hobby, and this guide provides all of the guidance necessary to inform observers about the sights and events unfolding before their eyes on the most active and powerful member of our Solar System.


Buying a Solar Telescope Field Guide Sunspots Hydrogen Alpha Observing Solar Features Observing the Sun Solar Observing Guide Solar Observing Safety Visible Features of the Sun

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.HomerUSA

About the authors

This is the second book written by Jamey Jenkins about the Sun. Springer published the first, The Sun and How to Observe It, in 2009 as a comprehensive look at solar observing. That book took a wide-ranging approach, explaining to the amateur astronomer the how and why of studying the nearest star. This venture, Observing the Sun: A Pocket Field Guide is meant for reference use at the telescope with a specific focus on the Sun’s abundant features. A product of the space age during the heyday of the 1960s Gemini and Apollo space programs, his first astronomical explorations led to a succession of increasingly larger telescopes and an invite to write for Dave Eicher’s fledgling amateur journal, Deep Sky Monthly. 

Jenkins has contributed to the Sunspot Program of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) and is an active member of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO) Solar Section. He’s also served as Assistant Section Coordinator of that group for a number of years. Jenkins photographs sunspots, watches calcium clouds, and studies prominence activity from his backyard observatory with a substantial 125 mm f/18 refractor. A significant development from the tiny Galilean lunar telescope of his past, this home-assembled telescope shows the Sun’s unique character, as a seething, boiling caldron of gas, and indeed the master of the solar system.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors