New Eyes on the Sun

A Guide to Satellite Images and Amateur Observation


Series: Astronomers' Universe

Information collected by satellites recently sent by the USA, the European Space Agency, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Russia to monitor the Sun has changed our knowledge and understanding of the Sun, particularly its effect on Earth. This book presents these findings in a way that will be welcomed by amateur astronomers, students, educators and anyone interested in the Sun. Enhanced by many colour photographs, the book combines newly acquired scientific understanding with detailed descriptions of features visible on the Sun’s surface and in its atmosphere.

In the past, observing the Sun has been left to academics with specialised instruments, since solar observation has been unsafe because of the risk of eye damage.  This book explains how amateur astronomers can safely observe the various solar phenomena using special hydrogen-alpha telescopes that are not too expensive. Amateurs can now make a positive contribution to science by monitoring the Sun as professionals do. 

Amateurs can also access the solar images taken by satellites via the internet. This book helps readers interpret and understand what these images are showing about the Sun, including the latest 3D images. Solar observers will enjoy comparing their own solar telescope observations with those produced by space probes such as SDO, SOHO, Hinode and STEREO, and further enjoy learning about transits, eclipses, and space weather and how the Sun compares to other stars in the universe.



In The Press

“If you’re looking to find out more about those more famous satellites and also about some fascinating historical missions, then ‘New Eyes on the Sun’ is just the book you need. … very informative and the insight you get into the satellites is great - it’s not too technical and at just the right length with plenty of interesting details. Also if you’re just looking to find out more about our closest star, it works great for that as well.” (Kadri Tinn,, July, 2015)

“Such an information rich book, full of well explained concepts and detailed colour images to help understand modern solar astronomy and get an appreciation of the many technological advances in recent times. … For amateur astronomers, this book can open a whole new avenue for your research to follow. For the enthusiast, it will be an enjoying reading and visual experience, especially John’s own photographs, which I was very impressed with.” (Peter Mead, IceInSpace, March, 2012)

About The Author

John Wilkinson is a science educator with over 30 years experience in teaching science, physics and chemistry in secondary colleges and universities in Australia. He is author of over 100 science textbooks. He completed his Masters degree and PhD in science education at La Trobe University, Australia. Throughout his life he has been a keen amateur astronomer and operates his own observatory from his backyard.  His main astronomical interests include the Moon, Sun and Solar System objects.

John is also author of “Probing the new solar system” and “The Moon in close-up”.  His web site is