Observing Through Telescopes

Our Nearest Star: The Sun
Grades: 3 and up
Duration: 25 minutes
Location: The Public Observatory, National Mall Building
Size limit: 25 participants

Join our astronomy educators for a close-up look at our nearest star, the Sun. The program begins with an introduction to the Sun, then offers you the opportunity to observe the Sun through three different solar filters. On clear days, you can view sunspots, prominences, filaments, plages, and other signs of solar activity (depending on how active the Sun is at the time).

Please note: This program is only available on Wednesdays and may be cancelled due to rain or overcast weather. Call 202-633-2517 to confirm your program if the weather is questionable.

Reserve this program.

About the Observatory
The observatory houses a 16-inch telescope and three solar telescopes that allow observers to safely view the Sun in different types of light. With the white-light telescope, you can see sunspots on the Sun's surface. The hydrogen-alpha (red light) and calcium-K (purple light) telescopes can reveal a variety of solar features in the Sun's atmosphere.

Tours and Reservations

Please contact the Tours & Reservations office at: (202) 633-2563