Our Sun is the only star that can be observed directly during the day.
We cannot look at the sun with the naked eye because harmful rays could damage our eyes.
Safety should come first if you are planning to observe either sunspots or a solar eclipse.
Total solar eclipses are one of the most spectacular and easy astronomical events to observe.
The view is breathtaking.
So what makes a total solar eclipse so special? Well, it is as if suddenly day switches to night. The sky darkens, and the temperature drops. Flowers close for night, birds roost and get ready to go to sleep, insects stop flying, and bats come out. During a total solar eclipse, you can see the solar corona, the wispy part of the sun that surrounds the disk.
First of all, use special sunglasses or filters specially designed for viewing a solar eclipse. Then, try to observe the different phases of the eclipse and to register the exact moment of each contact.
Your data might be very valuable if you have registered the moment and location of viewing precisely using the GPS. Even though the contact moments are pre-calculated, the real one might be slightly different due to Earth's wobbling.
Only during totality can you remove sunglasses or filters and enjoy the marvelous view of the solar corona. Besides the pale corona sometimes red prominences ,or gigantic eruptions of hot plasma, can also be seen. If you like to draw, try making some sketches. You can also look for some bright stars or planets during the totality.
All you need is a camera with manual control, a lens with a focal length of at least 50 mm and special dark filters that reduce solar light about 10000 times! Only during totality can you remove the filter.
Don't forget about safety and make sure the photos have long exposures from several seconds up to the minute. You can do web research to find what are the best exposure times for your specific camera.
Don't forget to use a tripod, since minor movements will cause the photos to be blurry.
Replace the dark filter right before the end of total phase.
Try using special sunglasses designed for viewing solar eclipses to protect your eyes when searching for sunspots. In most cases, however, you will need a telescope or at least binoculars. Never look directly at the sun, even through a dark ocular filter. Sun spots look like dark stains. In larger spots you can clearly distinguish a darker central part, called umbra, surrounded by a lighter area called a penumbra. You will notice that the spots usually appear in groups, which form, grow and dissolve over time. Try to sketch them quickly and precisely mark the time. If you observe the sun spots for a few days in row, you will see how the spots evolve and move daily, due to the solar rotation.