SOMERSET, NJ - Ever wonder what the Sun would actually look like if you could see it without going blind? With the right technology, not only is it possible, but it’s amazing— and you and your family can observe it for yourself this weekend!

The Franklin Township Astronomy Club will be set up inside the Snyder’s Farm Fall Festival on Saturday, October 5th, from 11AM-2PM. We will have specially filtered telescopes designed to safely observe the Sun. The regular price of admission to the festival includes free observing with the astronomy club’s telescopes once patrons are inside. 

What will it look like? Normally, sunspots are visible as dark patches on the surface of the Sun, but the Sun has seasons where it goes through very active and very inactive stages.

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Currently it’s quiet in terms of sunspots, however there is another part of the Sun that is always active: the chromosphere. Think of the chromosphere like the surface of water boiling in a pot on the stove: it bubbles and writhes as hot gasses push outward, and cool areas plunge deeper.

It takes a special kind of telescope to observe this layer of the Sun, but that is exactly what the astronomy club will be sharing with the public. Patrons will actually be seeing the giant plasma plumes on the surface of our nearest star. In an analogous way to how the Earth’s atmosphere has weather with storms, so does the chromosphere of the Sun.

If the Sun’s weather is stormy, giant solar flares that stretch out from the surface of the Sun (many times bigger than the diameter of our own planet Earth) may be visible through the club’s telescope. 

For those interested in astronomy, this is a fantastic opportunity to observe something very few people get to see. The Franklin Astronomy Club is a no-dues, completely free club, which receives no money from the township or the Fall Festival. It is comprised of volunteers and astronomy nerds/enthusiasts who organize astronomy programs and events throughout Franklin Township. Visit FaceBook.com/FranklinAstronomy to find out more about the club and future events.

Franklin Astronomy Club Contact: FranklinAstronomy@gmail.com

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