Observing and Imaging the Sun with Modest equipment

by S.J. Wainwright BSc.,PhD.,FRAS

At a time when the Sun is coming to the end of a deep solar minimum and Solar Cycle 24 is making a faltering start, it is timely to have a book about observing and imaging the Sun using readily available and low cost equipment. Sir Patrick Moore, an old friend, encouraged me to write the book and has kindly written the foreword:

Extract from the Foreword by Sir Patrick Moore CBE. FRS:

Making valuable and entertaining observations of the Sun is by no means difficult provided that you go about it in the right way. It is not necessary to set up elaborate and expensive equipment; a very modest outlay will suffice. On the other hand it is essential to take great care, and to know exactly what you are setting out to do. This is where Dr. Wainwright's book is so useful.

Steve Wainwright has followed a distinguished biological career, but he also has an international reputation as an astronomical observer, particularly with regart to imaging techniques and with the Sun.


Steve Wainwright's book is timely, and differs from most others in its outlook and its overall survey. If you are interested in taking a real interest in the Sun, this is the book for you.

Patrick Moore



West Sussex

At the start of Solar Cycle 23 electronic books were only a concept. Now that Cycle 24 is making a faltering start they are commonplace and allow the publication of books in a format that can be read on a number of platforms. I have chosen the PDF format as the Adobe PDF reader is well known to most computer users and is freely available across many devices. In using the eBook format I have been freed from the constraints of the costs of reproducing images in conventional paper books and as a result, the book is richly illustrated.

This eBook is available from Telescope Planet

An interesting coincidence

Although I don't believe for a microsecond in any significance of such coincidences, it is an interesting fact that when I was born, the Sun was the most active for an eleven year period. I have had a close interest in the Sun since my undergraduate days when I read David Gates's book 'Energy Exchange in the Biosphere'. The Sun is Our star providing the energy by which we and most of the biosphere live. It is responsible for the beautiful spectacle of the Aurora Borialis and Australis. It is a source of danger to sunbathers and astronauts on the one hand, due to the radiation and high-speed particles it emits and on the other hand these same solar winds shield the Earth from cosmic rays. Helios is truly a two-edged sword.

Solar Activity on my Birthday

I have produced this book towards the end of a century record low in solar activity and look forward to the development of the new cycle and to observing and recording it with low cost equipment.

Steve Wainwright

Dr. S.J. Wainwright FRAS