Aoraki Mackenzie Starlight Festival

The Hermitage and Hillary Alpine Centre, Mt Cook, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, New Zealand

Solar Telescopes

Solar telescope

Venue: Outside Hillary Cafe, The Hermitage (near the Ed Hillary statue)

This is a free event.


Sponsor: Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Canterbury

View the Sun through the University of Canterbury portable solar telescopes. With a red hydrogen-alpha filter, the telescopes allow one to see the more rarefied outer layers of the Sun’s atmosphere, where the temperature is actually hotter (about 20,000 degrees) than the normally visible surface (at 5800°).

The filter reveals an ever-changing and turbulent region, called the chromosphere, which is characterized by dark area, sunspots, and bright areas known as plages. On the limb one can often see prominences projected beyond the visible edge of the Sun.

Student observers will show the fascinating and turbulent outer region of the Sun to you and explain the remarkable chromospheric region, characterized by turbulent gas motions in a magnetic field.

This activity is subject to weather and the Sun being visible.


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