Kiwanis Chico Community Observatory







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Solar SUNdays


    Every Sunday (weather permitting) the observatory is open to the public for solar observing.  We point one of the telescopes, equipped with several filters for safety, on our nearest star, the sun.   It is dangerous to look at the sun without the proper eye protection (and sunglasses don't count as protection).  With the telescopes, you will be able to see two different views of our sun: solar flares and sunspots.


Solar Flares

    "A sudden increase in brightness of a small region on the sun.  The flare is caused by a magnetic disturbance."  Explorations (Thomas T. Arny).  Large solar flares can be many times the size of the Earth.  We use an Coronado Hα filter with a smaller Celestron telescope to safely view flares at the observatory. 





    "A dark, cool region on the Sun's visible surface created by intense magnetic fields."  Explorations (Thomas T. Arny).  Sunspots and solar flares are closely connected.  Large sunspots like the ones in the image on the right can be larger than the size of the Earth.  We use a partially silvered mirror on one of the 14" Schmidt-Cassegrain Celestron telescopes to safely view sunspots at the observatory.





*Images courtesy of SOHO/EIT and SOHO/MDI consortium.  SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.


Our Sun

Our Moon

Solar System

Deep Sky Objects




Website last updated March 16,  2006.  Hosted by Anthony Watts, KMXI Radio.  Webmasters Tiara Norris and Brendan Diamond.