© Carter Haydu
Pense's 11-year-old Haley Saal looks through a special telescope at Buffalo Pound Provincial Park on Aug. 10, 2012, under the guidance of amateur astronomer Paul Meyer, of Regina. Meanwhile Haley's seven-year-old brother Ryder waits his turn.
To actually see the giant ball of perpetually exploding gas at the centre of the solar system is quite an experience, and one made possible at Buffalo Pound Provincial Park, on Friday, thanks to a hydrogen-alpha telescope.
Regina’s Paul Meyer, an amateur photographer, was at the park offering visitors a chance to glance through a special filter that allows gazing at the sun in real time. The device blocks out all colours on the spectrum that could be harmful, Meyer told the Times-Herald, only letting though one bandwidth of harmless red.
“It’s the safest technology for looking at the sun,” he said, adding many of the people who gazed upon the local star were oddly surprised by its perfectly round shape, which he attributes to most people learning to draw pictures of the sun with little points on it.
He said people were also impressed to see all the activity going on all over the sun’s surface.
“You can see flares, sunspots and filaments.”
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.