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Astronomy Science Fair Project

Viewing Sunspots

Viewing Sunspots | Science Fair Projects | STEM Projects
Get ready to explore the sun! With a telescope or a homemade 'pinhole camera', you can view sunspots on the sun's surface. But be careful - never look directly at the sun!


The hypothesis is that sunspots represent spots that are cooler than the rest of the Sun's surface, and can be seen as dark spots on the surface.

Method & Materials

You will need to hold a piece of paper in your hand, or on a clipboard or notebook, and use the telescope's shadow to point the telescope at the sun. Then put the piece of paper next to the telescope's eyepiece, and use the telescope's focus knobs to make the sun's disk sharp. If you don't have access to a telescope, you can make a 'pinhole camera' with a shoebox and a pin.
You will need a telescope or a shoebox, a pin, and a piece of white paper.


By viewing the sun through a telescope or a 'pinhole camera', you can observe the sun's disk and all the bigger sunspots as black "specks" in little groups on that disk. This is an interesting way to observe the sun's surface and its varying activity.

Why do this project?

This science project is unique because it allows students to observe the sun's surface in a safe and fun way.

Also Consider

Experiment variations to consider include observing the sun's polar areas, which rotate at different rates than the sun's equator, and observing the sun's activity during its 11 year "solar cycle".

Full project details

You can find additional information and details for this science fair project here. Have fun exploring!

Related videos

Hey there! Here are some awesome videos about this science project that we think you'll really like. They're not only super fun, but they'll also help you learn more about the science behind the project. So sit back, relax, and get ready to have some fun!!
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