Sunspots and students

CAES students take turns viewing Thursday's solar event.

Photo and text by Claudio Veliz

Students from Paul Martorano’s 3rd and 4th grade class at Chester-Andover Elementary School were treated Thursday, March 8, to a solar viewing session of sunspots and one of the most violent magnetic storm concentrations on its surface in at least half a decade.

Claudio Veliz and Ron Jackson of the Southern Vermont Astronomy Group began the seminar and viewing session by explaining how the sun came into existence about 5 billion years ago, how it works now and how it has about 5 billion years to go. The students then viewed the sun through Veliz’ telescope, mounted with a safe full-aperture, neutral density solar filter.

Martorano said, “The viewing worked out great. There were a number of visible sunspots and some of the children commented on the movement around the sun. Some of the students were surprised that the sun looked like a small disc, while others noticed the motion of the sun’s energy creating a wave effect around the edges.”

For more information about SoVerA, contact Veliz at 802-875-6464 or Rick Bates at 802-579-6418.

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