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SOLAR STUDY

Use binoculars to safely view a detailed image of the sun

Suitable For

Grade 5

Difficulty

1

Time Required

 <24 Hours

Supervision

Advised

What’s it about?

The sun is the sole reason for life on Earth as we know it. The sun’s warmth and energy heats up the Earth and make many types of life forms possible. The Sun is only a star like many other stars that can be seen in the night sky. It is only because it is so close to the earth that it appears much bigger and brighter than all the others.

As interesting as the Sun can be, it is very dangerous to look directly at the sun, as it can cause severe eye damage and even complete blindness! In this science experiment, create a projection device for safely viewing a detailed image of the sun:

Topics covered

Solar, Kelvin

What will I need?

  • BINOCULARS
  • BOOKS
  • MIRROR

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

In this science experiment you created a type of ‘projection device’, which allows you to view a projected image of the Sun. With this device an inverted image of the Sun is formed on the opposite wall in the room. If your binoculars are good enough, you will be able to make out the sun spots on the surface of the sun. Sunspots are regions on the solar surface that appear dark because they are cooler than the surrounding photosphere, typically by about 1500 Kelvin (thus, they are still at a temperature of about 3500 – 4500 Kelvin, but this is cool compared to the rest of the photosphere which is close to 6000 Kelvin). Sunspots are associated with strong magnetic activity on the surface of the sun.

Because of the earth’s rotation around its own axis, the Sun’s image moves quite quickly across the wall and you might need to re-align the binoculars and mirror from time-to-time into the sun. Unfortunately the moon and the stars cannot be viewed in this way, because the level of light they emit is too weak.

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