Monday, June 18, 2012

How to Take Photos of the Sun, Sunspots, and Planets Moving Across the Sun

The black spot is Venus and the quarter-sphere is the sun.
 The above photo is by a long time friend of mine.  He took a photo of the planet Venus traveling in front of the Sun.  The neat thing is anybody can take a similar photo of the Sun, sunspots, or planet moving across the Sun.  All one needs are a camera, a box, white and black construction paper, and a telescope.

NOTE:  Never look into the eyepiece when a telescope is pointed at the Sun.  You will damage your eyes to the point of blindness.

  • First, cover the bottom inside of the box.with white construction paper
  • Second, align the rest of the inside of the box with black construction paper
  • The box is good to go!
  • Then, point the telescope towards the sun (do not use the eye piece!)
  • Hold the box up so the image showing be projected via the eye piece is displayed on the white construction paper. 
  • With some adjustments you should be able to see the Sun and any visible sunspots.  When a planet is traversing the Sun it will show up as a dark sphere.
  • Once you have a good image then feel free and take a photograph of it!

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