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Solar Observing Session Information

Fall 2014

Solar observing sessions will be held in the late morning/early afternoon for one week at the Campus Observatory, southeast of Foellinger Auditorium. Observing will take place on the south lawn of the Observatory (between the Observatory and Morrow Plots) using telescopes with specially-designed filters. These filters block 99.999% of the sunlight and make it safe to observe the Sun. Astronomy Department personnel will be present to operate and explain the telescope and the solar phenomena being viewed. Freely ask questions and sketch what you see.

Dates & Times

The scheduled dates & times for solar observing are listed below.

You may arrive when you wish, but be sure to allow approximately 20-30 minutes complete the observations before the end of session.

All are welcome to look through the telescopes, including your friends.

There will be a viewing of the partial solar eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23rd hosted by the Astronomy Department and the Astronomical Society at the University of Illinois. The solar eclipse starts and 4:40pm with maximum eclipse (~40%) at 5:45pm, shortly before sunset at 6pm. Due to the Sun's low elevation at the time of the eclipse, the eclipse session will be held at the top of the North Campus Parking Deck on the corner of University & Goodwin.

Weather-Related Cancellations

Observing can be done only if the sky is clear. Sometimes it will be clear an hour before a session is to start, only to cloud over in the next hour. At other times the sky is cloudy at the time we want to open the observatory and it clears up after the TAs have left. It is obvious to say that the professors and TAs who are involved cannot control the weather, but we try to cope with the circumstances as best we can.

Also, if the temperature is under 20 F, the session will be cancelled.

Subscribe to the Solar Observing Session Status Update Blog below to receive notifications when a session is canceled due to weather conditions.

Solar Observing Session Status Updates

Updates for scheduled solar observing sessions, including weather-related cancellations, will be posted to the Astronomy Solar Observing Session Status Update Blog.

You can subscribe to the blog or the RSS feed to get updates sent to you automatically!

The latest status updates will also be posted on this page.

  • Solar Observing -- that's a wrap

    Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:00:00 CST

    <p>Solar observing is over for the semester, thanks everyone!</p> ... Full Details

  • Thursday, November 20 - OPEN!!!

    Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:30:00 CST

    <p>We are open! &nbsp;Come to the south lawn of the observatory! &nbsp;FINAL DAY OF SOLAR OBSERVING!</p> ... Full Details

  • Thursday, November 20 - OPEN AT 10:30 AM

    Thu, 20 Nov 2014 09:15:00 CST

    <p>The weather is looking good! &nbsp;We will be out at the Observatory on the south lawn (between the Observatory and the Morrow Plots) at 10:30am. &nbsp;Assuming it is clear, this will be the FINAL DAY of solar observing.</p> ... Full Details

  • Wed, Nov 19 - CLOSED

    Wed, 19 Nov 2014 12:00:00 CST

    <p>Sorry guys, a huge wall of clouds rolled in so we're closed for the day. We'll try again tomorrow.</p> ... Full Details

  • Open from 11:30

    Wed, 19 Nov 2014 11:15:00 CST

    <p>The sky just cleared up a bit so we're starting at 11:30.</p> ... Full Details

Post to the Observing Session Status Update Blog (Staff only).