Sun Sources

Text in quotes and italics are direct from the sites. 

Solar Ham

Ham Radio site with extensive current solar activity.

Solar Weather Browser

Nice solar images browser software.

Sun Earth Day

Sun-Earth Day webcasts and podcasts archived and Space Weather Media Viewer.  The Media Viewer has a lot of basic information about the sun and is interactive.

Solar Monitor

These pages contain near-realtime and archived information on active regions and solar activity.

Coordinated Solar Observations

Links to most solar observation sites. Not an educational site.

The Eclipse Page

This is the ultimate eclipse page by Fred Espenak at NASA.  Everything you want to know about eclipses - Solar or Lunar.

Observe the Sun with a spectroheliograph

"The main purpose of this site is to show that a mythical instrument of observation, which seemed unaffordable to the amateurs, can now be considered and made without many difficulties and expenses, as well as telescopes or more recently electronic CCD cameras ."

This page seems to be by an amateur solar observer.  Some of it is in French, but not enough for those who don't speak French to have problems.  Good information on how to make a spectrogram of the sun and some samples spectrograms.  Worth a look.

current solar data


"The science tour is divided into sections depending on what part of the Sun, or its surroundings, we are looking at. .... The live version of that image is available by clicking on the "Sun Block Adventures" link on the left side of the page."

A multimedia expolration of  the sun. These pages were designed to work on Netscape 4.0 and Internet Explorer
4.0 or better - with JavaScript enabled. To view the movies you will also need a movie player plug-in such as
QuickTime. Worksheets are included for teachers to give to their students.

Space Environment Center National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

This site is devoted to space weather which is influenced by the Sun. Much of the curriculum information and guides are downloadable in pdf format requiring Acrobat Reader 3.0 or better.

POETRY- NASA IMAGE Project education page

"This is the award-winning education and public outreach effort of the NASA IMAGE satellite project. Our outreach program will capitalize on the data from this spacecraft to create classroom activities and resources describing the Earth, the Sun and how they interact for the benefit (or detriment!) of humans.

This site will evolve rapidly during the 1996-1999 period as new methods for presenting our resources on the Web are explored prior to the satellite's launch on January 1, 2000."

IMAGE project home page

This is the science part of the IMAGE project.


Science news and information about the Sun-Earth environment. Very useful as a sun and space environment resource.

Space Weather Center

Part of the Space Science Institute"The unique mission of the Space Science Institute is to integrate scientific research with education and public outreach." 

This site provides information about the space weather environment.  There are brief explanations about the Sun, plasmas, Earth's magnetic field, etc.  Some interactive games challenge knowledge about these subjects.  No teachers section. Could be used as a learning tool for students to do on their own. 

National Geophysical Data Center

"The National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) is the national repository for geophysical data, providing a wide range of science data services and information. "

Large amount of data available related to the Sun and The Earth


World Data Center for the Sunspot Index, Belgium.  Records of sunspot numbers are archived here dating back to 1818.  .    

Solar Physics - Marshall Solar Physics Group

This is the Solar Physics Group at the Marshall Space Flight Center.  This is not necessarily an educational site, but contains useful information about current research. In their words:  " These pages contain an overview of solar physics itself along with highlights of our own work, our current projects, and possible future missions."

There are many articles about the sun and much can be learned from these easy to understand pages especially by teachers looking for explanations.

Project CLEA - Solar study software

Solar Observing by Peter Meadows

This is not necessarily an educational site, but contains useful solar observing information and data. 

HAO Education Pages

"A part of the mission of the High Altitude Observatory is to enhance and contribute to solar and solar-terrestrial physics education. The HAO education pages are designed for the use of both teachers and students."  5/5/2009 - The education pages are no longer available.  HAO main pages are here: Or try here:

PlanetScapes sun pages

Lots of good sun information for students and teachers. Sun Statistics, Eclipse & Sun Movies, and Views of the Sun are just some of the many sun related links. Educators guides include: Guide to Convection, Guide to Eclipses, and Guide to Sunspots . I didn't find any lesson plans related to the sun here, but there are some related to other solar system phenomena. 5/5/2009 - PlanetScapes solar pages now point to solar pages on

Solar-Heliosperic Research Group

"In an effort to reach out to the public, the Solar-Heliospheric Research Group here at the University of Michigan's  Space Physics Research Laboratory has provided this web site for kids and non-scientists.  The content is appropriate for both children and adults, as you can change the level of difficulty to fit your needs by clicking on the more or less detail links at the bottom of most pages.  There are some great things to learn and lots of fun stuff to explore, so enjoy!"

This site for kids is pretty light weight.  Very limited on graphics, so kids who don't like to read will get bored with it quickly. On the positive side, the information is fairly simple to understand and a quick read. No educators section.

Earth Based Solar Observatories 

National Solar Observatory / Sacramento Peak

The National Solar Observatory Digital Library

Recent solar images from a variety of sources commected to the National Solar Observatory. You will need to try the different links to find which best suits your needs.

Big Bear Solar Observatory

The images from Big Bear may be more useful to students than the more technical images at National Solar Observatory. There are no lesson plans here, but is useful for solar images and information.

Go direct to "Best of" images at

Go direct to latest images at

Mount Wilson Solar Observatory

A good site for professional information and observations about the sun.  A good research site.

RWC Belgium World Data Center for the Sunspot Index
Maintained by the Solar Physics Department of the Royal Observatory of Belgium.  This is a data collection and distribution site for solar data mostly concerning sunspots.  Lots of information and images here if doing research

Catania Astrophysical Observatory

Most of the information here is in Italian.  Solar image archive here:  

Culgoora Observatory

This is a nice current H-alpha solar image from the Culgoora Observatory in New South Wales.

Space Based Solar Observatories


If you or a student (high school or college) is really into solar observing there is a lot of data available here. For just a look at today's images from different filters and cameras go to Current Solar Images.

Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE)

Home page of the ACE spacecraft solar observer. No educational page here, but a good source of sun images and data.


Education pages "These pages are intended to provide the general public, and specifically students and their teachers, with some tools to learn more about the Sun and about the TRACE program. You'll find some basic information here, as well as links to other sites on the Web that contain more detailed explanations of solar physics."

Information on how the sun works and images.


"SHINE is an affiliation of researchers within the solar, interplanetary, and heliospheric
communities, dedicated to promoting enhanced understanding of and predictive capabilities for
solar disturbances that propagate to Earth."

The education section of this web page is a list of links to other sites. .


"The YPOP Solar Classroom is filled with hands-on, solar related activities. There is something for everyone. Many of these activities teach you about the Sun itself. Others teach a physical concept, like rotation, using the Sun as an example. We invite teachers, students, parents and children of all ages to experiment with the activities below.

YOHKOH Public Outreach Home Page


Slides, movies, education packages


HESSI stands for High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager.  The Sun Science section explains what this mission is about along with some sun science information. The K-12 Curriculum section has a variety of activities, some a little different than at other sites and some are from other sites.

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copyright 1998, 2007, j.o. rienhardt