Safely Observe the Sun at JJC Natural Sciences Event May 3

Joliet Junior College‘s Natural Sciences Department invites the community to safely view the Sun Tuesday, May 3 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on the college’s Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet. This event is free, and will take place between the softball field and South Parking Lot 7. 

According to Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Noella Dcruz, the public can safely view the Sun using three different instruments, including a solar spectroscope, which was recently purchased through a JJC Foundation Award for Excellence grant.

With the solar spectroscope, viewers will get to see the Sun’s rainbow colors mixed with many dark lines. The dark lines are generated by specific chemicals in the Sun such as hydrogen, sodium, magnesium, etc., and they enable astronomers to determine the Sun’s chemical composition.

In addition to the spectroscope, attendees can look through JJC’s solar telescope that has a built-in hydrogen filter, to see prominences, or gas plumes, at the edge of the Sun. To see sunspots, viewers can use JJC’s “Sunspotter” telescope.

“This is a great opportunity for community members to safely see vastly different views of our Sun up close and personal. The telescope with the hydrogen filter lets us see the chromosphere of the Sun, a layer of the Sun’s atmosphere that emits most of the Sun’s ultraviolet light. The other two instruments let us see the photosphere, the part of the atmosphere that is the visible surface of the Sun. The photosphere lies right below the chromosphere,” said Dcruz.

Attendees should be aware that if it is raining or snowing, the event will be cancelled. 

For more information about this event, astronomy at JJC, or the JJC Herbert Trackman Planetarium, please contact Noella Dcruz at 815-280-2572 or ndcruz@jjc.edu.   

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