Sunspots at Franconia Notch’s Flume Gorge

Telescope View of the Sun
Telescope View of the Sun demonstration at Franconia Notch Flume Gorge & Visitor Center

Day two of our summer vacation to the White Mountains. We had a rough start, the hike we planned was abruptly canceled due to a closed trail. We struggled a bit to regroup and find a new hike. We ended up opting for an easy hike down the familiar Pemi Trail and Bike Path with no specific destination.

We ended up at the Flume Gorge and walked around the visitor center, checked the trout pond, and happened upon two students from Dartmouth College who were working with the Appalachian Mountain Club Astronomy Programs. They had several telescopes setup just outside the entrance and offered some great information.

Astronomy Programs at AMCWe learned how to view the sun with various telescope techniques. There were two visible sunspots during our observation, which may be hard to see in the photo because they appeared as specks. In fact I thought they were just dust or dirt on the lens. Those specks are actually about the size of earth.

Our two boys really enjoyed the demonstration and information. I was not aware of the Astronomy Programs at AMC, but I our family can take advantage of more programs like this. We understand that telescopes will be available at Lafayette Campground for night observing during June-August. We are here for the next two weeks, so we hope to make it on a nice clear night.

For more information on the Astronomy Programs at AMC you can visit their wesbite: http://www.outdoors.org/recreation/naturearts/astronomy.cfm

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