List of solar telescopes

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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 telescopes[edit]

Name/Observatory Image Aperture d. Year(s) Location Country(s) Note
Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) Haleakala Observatory 2017.jpg 400 cm[1] 2020-[2] Maui, Hawaii, USA  United States First light 29 January 2020[3]
Chinese Large Solar Telescope (CLST) - 180 cm 2019 - Western part of China  China First light 10 December 2019[4]
GREGOR, Teide Observatory Solar Telescope GREGOR.jpg 150 cm 2012– Tenerife, Spain  Germany [5]
Goode Solar Telescope (GST), Big Bear Solar Observatory GST dome.jpg 160 cm 2008– California, United States  United States Located in a lake.
New Vacuum Solar Telescope (NVST), Yunnan Astronomical Observatory - 100 cm 2010– Yunnan, China  China 100 cm vacuum solar telescope[6]
Andrei Severny Tower Solar Telescope, Crimean Astrophysical Observatory BST1-CrAO Crimea Ukraine.JPG 90 cm 1954– Crimea -
Multi-purpose automated solar telescope, Sayan Solar Observatory[7] - 80 cm Mondy, Republic of Buryatia, Russia  Russia Located in the mountains at 2000m altitude.
Large Solar Vakuum Telescope, Baikal Astrophysical Observatory[8] Большой Солнечный Вакуумный Телескоп (БСВТ).jpg 76 cm 1980– Irkutsk_Oblast, Russia  Russia Located on the Coast of Lake Baikal.
Optical and Near-Infrared Solar Eruption Tracer (ONSET), School of Astronomy & Space Science, Nanjing University - 3x27,5 cm 2010– Nanjing, 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.[9]
Bulgarian 15-cm Solar Coronagraph,[10] NAO - Rozhen - 100 cm 2005– Rozhen, Bulgaria  Bulgaria
Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope[11](SST), ORM Swedish Solar Telescope.jpg 100 cm 2002– La Palma, Spain  Sweden
Prairie View Solar Observatory (PVSO) PVSO Dome.jpg 35 cm 1999– Texas, USA  United States
Dutch Open Telescope (DOT), ORM Dutch Open Telescope dome closed.jpg 45 cm 1997– La Palma, Spain  Netherlands
THÉMIS Solar Telescope, Teide Obs. Teide Observatorium THEMIS.jpg 90 cm 1996– Tenerife, Spain  Italy and  France
Vacuum Tower Telescope (VTT),[12] Teide Obs. Teide Observatorium VTT.jpg 70 cm 1989– Tenerife, Spain  Germany
Hida Domeless Solar Telescope[13] (ja) - 60 cm 1979– Takayama, Gifu, Japan  Japan
Udaipur Solar Observatory
Full Disk H-alpha Telescope
H-alpha Spar Telescope
Coudé Telescope
Udaipur observatory.jpg
50 cm
15 cm
25 cm
15 cm
1976– Udaipur, India  India
Richard B. Dunn Solar Telescope (DST), Sacramento Peak National solar observatory.jpg 76 cm 1969– Sunspot Solar Observatory, Sunspot, New Mexico, USA  United States
Solar Observatory Tower Meudon Solar Observatory Tower Meudon Spectrograph.jpeg 60 cm 1968– Meudon, France  France
McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope, KPO McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope.jpg 161 cm 1961– Arizona, USA  United States Largest aperture optical and infrared solar telescope for nearly six decades
ARIES Observatory - 15 cm 1961– Nainital, India  India
Solar Tunnel Telescope, Kodaikanal Solar Observatory Kodaikanal Solar Observatory-b.jpg 61 cm (24 in) 1958–[14] Kodaikanal, India  India
45-cm-Turmteleskop - 45 cm 1943- Schauinsland, Germany  Germany
Gregory Coudé Telescope
IRSOL observatory.jpg
45 cm 1959- Locarno, Switzerland   Switzerland Operated by the Universitäts-Sternwarte Göttingen until 1984 and by IRSOL after 1984.
Solar Tower Telescope by Zeiss[15] - 45 cm 1930– Tokyo, Japan  Japan
Einsteinturm Einsteinturm 7443.jpg 60 cm 1924– Potsdam, Germany  Germany
150-foot tower,[1] Mount Wilson Observatory The 150-Foot Solar Tower Observatory on Mt. Wilson as seen from near the base.jpg 35 cm (24") 1912– California, USA  United States
Snow Solar Telescope,[16] Mount Wilson Observatory - 61 cm (24") 1904– California, USA  United States first solar tower telescope
Lerebour/Grubb-Parsons, Kodaikanal Solar Observatory Kodaikanal Solar Observatory-a.jpg 20 cm 1901– Kodaikanal, India  India (1947- )
 United Kingdom (1901–1950)

Former solar telescopes after 1900[edit]

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
Gregory Coude Telescope (GCT)[17] 45 cm[1] 1984–2002 Tenerife, Spain (1984–2002)  Germany Replaced by GREGOR
Evans Solar Facility (ESF),[18] 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 Replaced the 10.5in in 1941
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 in 1941
Arcetri solar tower Osservatorio di arcetri, telescopio 01.JPG 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 telescopes[edit]

Name/Observatory Image Aperture d. Status Location Country(s) Note
COronal Solar Magnetism Observatory (COSMO)[19] - 150 cm proposed Hawaii, USA  United States
National Large Solar Telescope (NLST) - 200 cm proposed[20] Merak Village, Ladakh, India  India
Chinese Giant Solar Telescope (CGST)[21] - 500–800 cm planned Western part of China  China
European Solar Telescope (EST)[22] - 400+ cm planned Canary Islands 15 European countries[23]

Other types of solar telescopes[edit]

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[24][25]

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


  1. ^ a b c "Big Bear Solar Observatory - Large Solar Telescopes".
  2. ^ "Welcome to the DKIST | DKIST".
  3. ^ Witze, A. (29 January 2020). "World's most powerful solar telescope is up and running". Nature. doi:10.1038/d41586-020-00224-z.
  4. ^ "First light of the 1.8-m solar telescope–CLST". SCIENCE CHINA Physics, Mechanics & Astronomy. 22 April 2020. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  5. ^ GREGOR Website at KIS, Freiburg
  6. ^
  7. ^ Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics
  8. ^ Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-08. Retrieved 2015-06-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ The Swedish 1 m Solar Telescope Archived 2008-06-16 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-12-26. Retrieved 2009-02-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "The Domeless Solar Telescope".
  14. ^ "I.S. Glass's home page".
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-03-10. Retrieved 2014-08-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Telescope: Snow Solar Telescope".
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2010-09-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-09-05. Retrieved 2010-09-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ Y. Y. Deng (21 March 2011). "Introduction to the Chinese Giant Solar Telescope" (PDF). Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  22. ^ "Home".
  23. ^
  24. ^ Sky & Telescope: David Lunt (1942-2005)
  25. ^ David Lunt biography, Solar Filter designer Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]