“Oct. 11: A new sunspot is emerging near the sun’s northeastern limb. It’s the biggest active region in months and appears to be a member of new Solar Cycle 24. Readers, if you have a solar telescope, now is the time to watch sunspot genesis in action. Image from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK…”


“Coronado’s Personal Solar Telescope–PST for short–is a great way to get started with solar astronomy. The telescope is small, portable, and inexpensive–but it is a big performer. Looking through the eyepiece of a PST you can see vast dark solar filaments, red glowing prominences, and seething active regions where sunspots break through the sun’s surface.

“At the heart of the PST is a Coronado ‘H-alpha’ filter tuned to the red glow of solar hydrogen. It reveals phenomena invisible to ordinary white-light telescopes and, best of all, it is utterly safe. You can’t hurt your eyes looking through a PST.”

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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2022: I publish a weeklyish email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca., where I practiced with Buddhist teacher Ruth Denison and was involved in various pro-ecology and social justice activist activities.

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