The Sun, among other things, is the brightest star in the sky. Its irradiance is so high that it’s not safe to observe it with naked eyes or an instrument without a proper solar filter. This is very important! Failure to take protective measures could lead to blindness! There is truth in the joke that you could take a look at the Sun through a telescope only twice in your life – once with your left eye, and again with your right eye. The only time you could look directly at the solar disk with your naked eyes is right after sunrise or right before sunset. Never look at the Sun through a telescope without a solar filter!!!
The amazing scenery aside, photographs of just our star could be stunning as well. The most common objects of interest are the sunspots. Very often they are located close to each other or around a larger one, forming a group. Another very interesting thing to observe or photograph are the solar flares. You need a special telescope equipped with Hα filter to do that, though. If you are extremely lucky you might see a solar outburst – seen as a bright spots lasting from seconds to minutes. Such events are extremely rare and only few amateur astronomers have seen a solar outburst, so don’t raise your hopes up.
How to observe the Sun
I said it once, and I’ll say it again – always use a solar filter!!! Our star has many features that amateur astronomers can observe. For some you will not need more than a telescope (and a filter!), for others you will have to invest in more expensive equipment. Read more about how to observe the Sun here.
How to draw the Sun
One way to capture the sunspots, without having a solar filter, is to draw them by projecting the Sun onto a screen. This is the safest way to observe our star, and you don’t need to buy a filter. This is probably the best, and most inexpensive, way to track the solar activity during its 11-year cycle. Read more about how to draw the Sun here.
How to photograph the Sun
You have probably seen various photos where the Sun always has different color. There is no mystery about it, it all depends on the filter you have, and a filter you must use. Read more about how to photograph the Sun here.