List of solar telescopes

This is a list of solar telescopes built in various countries around the world. A solar telescope is a specialized telescope that is used to observe the Sun.

This list contains ground-based professional observatory telescopes at optical wavelengths in chronological order. Solar telescopes often have multiple focal lengths, and use a various combination of mirrors such as coelostats, lenses, and tubes for instruments including spectrographs, cameras, or coronagraphs. There are many types of instruments that have been designed to observe Earth's Sun, for example, in the 20th century solar towers were common.

Existing large solar telescopesEdit

Name/Observatory Image Aperture d. Year(s) Location Country(s) Note
GREGOR, Teide Obs.   150 cm 2012– Tenerife, Spain   Germany [1]
Goode Solar Telescope (GST), Big Bear Solar Observatory   160 cm 2008– California, United States   United States Located in a lake.
New Vacuum Solar Telescope (NVST) - 100 cm 2010– Yunnan Astronomical Observatory, China   China 100 cm vacuum solar telescope[2]
ONSET (Optical and Near-Infrared Solar Eruption Tracer) - 3x27,5 cm 2010– School of Astronomy & Space Science, Nanjing University, China   China The ONSET consists of four tubes: (1) a near-infrared vacuum tube, with an aperture of 27.5 cm, (2) a chromospheric vacuum tube, with an aperture of 27.5 cm, (3) a WL vacuum tube, with an aperture of 20 cm and (4) a guiding tube.[3]
Bulgarian 15-cm Solar Coronagraph,[4] NAO - Rozhen - 100 cm 2005– Rozhen, Bulgaria   Bulgaria
Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope[5](SST), ORM   100 cm 2002– La Palma, Spain   Sweden
Prairie View Solar Observatory (PVSO)   35 cm 1999– Texas, USA   United States
Dutch Open Telescope (DOT), ORM   45 cm 1997– La Palma, Spain   Netherlands
THÉMIS Solar Telescope, Teide Obs.   90 cm 1996– Tenerife, Spain   Italy and   France
Vacuum Tower Telescope (VTT),[6] Teide Obs.   70 cm 1989– Tenerife, Spain   Germany
Hida Domeless Solar Telescope[7] (ja) - 60 cm 1979– Takayama, Gifu, Japan   Japan
Udaipur Solar Observatory
Full Disk H-alpha Telescope
H-alpha Spar Telescope
Coudé Telescope
50 cm
15 cm
25 cm
15 cm
1976– Udaipur, India   India
Richard B. Dunn Solar Telescope (DST), Sacramento Peak   76 cm 1969– Sunspot Solar Observatory, Sunspot, New Mexico, USA   United States
Solar Observatory Tower Meudon   60 cm 1968– Meudon, France   France
McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope, KPO   161 cm 1961– Arizona, USA   United States Largest aperture optical and infrared solar telescope to-date
ARIES Observatory - 15 cm 1961– Nainital, India   India
Solar Tunnel Telescope, Kodaikanal Solar Observatory   61 cm (24 in) 1958–[8] Kodaikanal, India   India
45-cm-Turmteleskop - 45 cm 1943- Schauinsland, Germany   Germany
Solar Tower Telescope by Zeiss[9] - 45 cm 1930– Tokyo, Japan   Japan
Einsteinturm   60 cm 1924– Potsdam, Germany   Germany
150-foot tower,[10] Mount Wilson Observatory   35 cm (24") 1912– California, USA   United States
Snow Solar Telescope,[11] Mount Wilson Observatory - 61 cm (24") 1904– California, USA   United States first solar tower telescope
Lerebour/Grubb-Parsons, Kodaikanal Solar Observatory   20 cm 1901– Kodaikanal, India   India (1947- )
  United Kingdom (1901–1950)

Former solar telescopes after 1900Edit

Name/Observatory Image Aperture d. Year(s) Location Country(s) Note
Swedish Vacuum Solar Telescope, ORM - 47.5 cm 1985–2000 La Palma, Spain   Sweden Replaced by the SST
Locarno Gregory Coude Telescope (GCT)[12] 45 cm[10] 1959–2002 Tenerife, Spain (1984–2002)
Locarno, Switzerland (1959–1984)
  Germany Replaced by GREGOR
Evans Solar Facility (ESF)[13], Sacramento Peak 40 cm 1953–2014 Sunspot Solar Observatory, Sunspot, New Mexico, USA   United States Also a coronagraph
Göttinger Sonnenturm (Solar Tower Telescope, Zeiss 1942) 2x15 cm
11 cm
1942–2004 Göttingen, Germany   Germany 65 cm-Coelostat by Zeiss, feeding light into several small light paths in tower
McMath-Hulbert Observatory - 61 cm (24") 1941–1979 Michigan, USA   United States
50-foot tower, McMath-Hulbert Observatory - 40 cm 1936–1979 Michigan, USA   United States
10.5 inch, McMath-Hulbert Observatory - 26.7 cm (10.5") 1930–1941 Michigan, USA   United States Replaced by the 24 inch
Arcetri solar tower   37 cm 1925-2006 Arcetri, Italy   Italy

Telescopes for the Sun have existed for hundreds of years, this list is not complete and only goes back to 1900.

Potential future solar telescopesEdit

Name/Observatory Image Aperture d. Status Location Country(s) Note
Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope   400 cm[10] under construction [14] Maui, Hawaii, USA   United States Built, First light planned for 2019
COronal Solar Magnetism Observatory (COSMO)[15] - 150 cm proposed Hawaii, USA   United States
Chinese Large Solar Telescope - 180 cm constructing Western part of China   China
National Large Solar Telescope - 200 cm proposed[16] Merak Village, Ladakh, India   India
Chinese Giant Solar Telescope - 500–800 cm planned Western part of China   China
European Solar Telescope (EST)[17] - 400+ cm planned Canary Islands 15 European countries[18]

Other types of solar telescopesEdit

There are much smaller commercial and/or amateur telescopes such as Coronado Filters from founder and designer David Lunt, bought by Meade Instruments in 2004 and sells SolarMax solar telescopes up to 8 cm[19][20]

Most solar observatories observe optically at visible, UV, and near infrared wavelengths, but other things can be observed.


  1. ^ GREGOR Website at KIS, Freiburg
  2. ^
  3. ^ Hao, Q.; Guo, Y.; Dai, Y.; Ding, M. D.; Li, Z.; Zhang, X. Y.; Fang, C. (2012). "Understanding the white-light flare on 2012 March 9: Evidence of a two-step magnetic reconnection". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 544: L17. arXiv:1211.1751. Bibcode:2012A&A...544L..17H. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201219941.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ The Swedish 1 m Solar Telescope Archived 2008-06-16 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-12-26. Retrieved 2009-02-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "The Domeless Solar Telescope".
  8. ^ "I.S. Glass's home page".
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-03-10. Retrieved 2014-08-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ a b c "Big Bear Solar Observatory - Large Solar Telescopes".
  11. ^ "Telescope: Snow Solar Telescope".
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Welcome to the DKIST | DKIST".
  15. ^
  16. ^ [2]
  17. ^ "Home".
  18. ^
  19. ^ Sky & Telescope: David Lunt (1942-2005)
  20. ^ David Lunt biography, Solar Filter designer Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine

Further readingEdit

See alsoEdit