A Resource List About the Sun

The Sun is a star, a large sphere of hot gas composed of hydrogen, helium, and trace amounts of heavier elements, which maintains its high temperature from thermonuclear reactions which occur near its center. From the earth it appears overwhelmingly brighter than any other star because it is much closer. This web page contains links to web sites, and lists books and periodicals where more information on the Sun can be found.

The National Solar Observatory (NSO) provides telescopes atop Sacramento Peak, New Mexico, and Kitt Peak, Arizona, for the nation's astronomers to test and improve our understanding of how and why stars like the Sun exhibit activity.

Web Sites

Ask the Space Scientist about: The Sun
This page about The Sun is part of the Ask the Space Scientist web site at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. It includes answers to nearly 100 frequently asked questions about the Sun.

Athena, Earth and Space Science for K-12
Click on the Space link for instructional materials on the topic of Space and Astronomy from the Athena Project. Both students and teachers will find useful information here.

SEDS Galaxy: Planets and the Solar System
Look under the section titled The Sun for up to the minute information about today's space weather, current solar images, the daily solar radio noise flux, current prominence monitor, Yohkoh satellite image collection, and a link to the NASA Solar Data Analysis Center.

Stanford SOLAR Center
This excellent site from the Stanford SOLAR Center presents a collection of educational activities based on Solar Oscillations Investigation (SOI) and Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) data.

StarChild, a Learning Center for Young Astronomers
StarChild, a Learning Center for Young Astronomers, presents information and activities about many topics in astronomy for readers at different levels. You can learn about the Sun by clicking on the Solar System link and The Sun.

Windows to the Universe
This graphics intensive site called allows you to enter the site with options that match your computer capabilities.

Transition Region and Coronal Explorer on-line
NASA's TRACE (Transition Region and Coronal Explorer) Mission is returning incredible images and information about some of the most dramatic and least understood solar phenomena including flares and coronal loops.

Sunspots and the Solar Cycle
Sponsored by Science@NASA, this site includes extensive information about Sunspots and the Solar Cycle with links to great solar and other science sites.

Passport to Knowledge: Live from the Sun
As part of the Passport to Knowledge Series, Live from the Sun features information, teacher resources, tours of solar observatories, opportunities to interact with scientists.

Our Sun
This page from NASA's Observatorium titled Our Sun includes facts about the Sun, how we depend on it, what ancients thought about the Sun, how the Sun works.

The Sun
As part of An Astronomy Course for Middle/High School Students site, this page includes links to multi-wavelength images and basic information about the Sun.

Mt. Wilson Observatory Education Presentations
This Mt. Wilson Observatory educational presentation index provides an overview and history of the sunspot cycle.

Sunspot Data
The information and links on this page describe sunspots, solar telescopes, and the work of Galileo Galilei on the topic of sunspots.

Layers of the Sun
Here you'll find a well-illustrated introduction to the various layers in the Sun, from the core to corona.



by Robin Kerrod; Published 1996 by Lorenz Books; ASIN: 1859671594; level: ages 9-12.

Beginner's Guide to the Sun
by Peter O. Taylor and Nancy L. Hendrickson; Published 1996 by Kalmbach Publ. Co.; ASIN: 0913135232; level: young adult.

Our Star - The Sun (Window on the Universe)
by Robert Estalella, Marcel Socias; Published 1993 by Barron's Educational Series; Hardback ASIN: 081206370;Paperback ASIN: 0812017390; level: ages 9-12.

Science Project Ideas About the Sun
(Gardner, Robert, Easy Nature Experiments) by Robert Gardner; Library Binding; Published 1997 by Enslow Publishers; ASIN: 0894908456; level: ages 9-12.

The Restless Sun
by Donat G. Wentzel; Published 1989 by the Smithsonian Institution. ASIN: 0874749824; Provides a broad perspective on solar science for non-specialists. level: young adult.

The Sun (First Books - The Solar System Series)
by Robert Daily; Published 1996 by Franklin Watts; Paperback ASIN: 0531157768; level: ages 9-12.



The Sun in General

"Close-up of a Star"
by A. MacRobert, in Sky and Telescope. May 1985, p.397.

"The Sun: A Star Close-up"
by J. Pasachoff, in Mercury, May/June 1991, p. 66. A good introduction to how the Sun works.

"Heating the Sun's Million Degree Corona"
by L. Golub, in Astronomy, May 1993, p. 27.

"Seeing the Unseen Sun: The Ulysses Mission"
by R. Talcott, in Astronomy, Jan. 1990, p. 30.

"Solar Max: 1980-1989"
by R. Nichols, in Sky and Telescope. Dec. 1989, p. 601. Good summary of the work of a satellite dedicated to observing the Sun.

"The Sun As Never Seen Before"
by E. Gibson, in National Geographic, Oct. 1974, p. 494. Observations from Skylab, a space laboratory.

"Unsolved Mysteries of the Sun - Part 1"
by Kenneth R. Lang, in Sky and Telescope, Aug. 1996, p. 38.

"Unsolved Mysteries of the Sun - Part 2"
by Kenneth R. Lang, in Sky and Telescope, Sept. 1996, p. 24.

Connecting the Sun and the Earth's Long-Term Climate

"The Case of the Missing Sunspots"
by J. Eddy, in Scientific American, May 1977, p. 80.

"The Rise and Fall of the Sun's Activity"
by J. Kanipe, in Astronomy, Oct. 1988, p. 22.

Observing the Sun for Yourself

"Equipped for Safe Solar Viewing"
by R. Hill, in Astronomy, Feb. 1989 p. 66.

"Photographing our Nearest Star"
by R. Dilsizian, in Astronomy, May 1987, p. 38. Especially useful for those just becoming familiar with this subject.

"A Beginner's Guide to Solar Observing"
by Jeff Medkeff, in Sky and Telescope, June 1999, p. 122.

"Watching the Premier Star"
by P. McIntosh and H. Leinbach, in Sky and Telescope, Nov. 1988, p. 486.

Solar Telescopes on Kitt Peak

"The Large Solar Telescope at Kitt Peak"
by Robert R. McMath and A. Keith Pierce, inSky and Telescope, Aug. 1960, p. 64

"The Large Solar Telescope at Kitt Peak - II"
by Robert R. McMath and A. Keith Pierce, in Sky and Telescope, Sept. 1960, p. 132.

"Builder of Solar Observatories"
by R.M. Petrie, in Sky and Telescope, Apr. 1962, p. 191. Picture of solar telescope at KPNO.


The National Optical Astronomy Observatories is operated for
the National Science Foundation by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy.

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