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.

Ground telescopes[edit]

Optical telescopes[edit]

Name/Observatory Image Aperture Year(s) Location Country(s) Note(s)
Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) Haleakala Observatory 2017.jpg 400 cm 2019– Haleakalā, Maui, Hawaii, United States  United States [1][2][3][4]
Chinese Large Solar Telescope (CLST) 180 cm 2019– Chengdu, Sichuan, China  China First light 10 December 2019[5]
GREGOR, Teide Observatory Solar Telescope GREGOR.jpg 150 cm 2012– Tenerife, Spain  Germany [6]
Goode Solar Telescope (GST), Big Bear Solar Observatory GST dome.jpg 160 cm 2008– California, United States  United States
New Vacuum Solar Telescope (NVST), Yunnan Astronomical Observatory 100 cm 2010– Yunnan, China  China 100 cm vacuum solar telescope[7]
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 80 cm Mondy, Republic of Buryatia, Russia  Russia Located in the mountains at 2000m altitude.[8]
Large Solar Vakuum Telescope, Baikal Astrophysical Observatory Большой Солнечный Вакуумный Телескоп (БСВТ).jpg 76 cm 1980– Irkutsk Oblast, Russia  Russia Located on the Coast of Lake Baikal.[8]
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] Rozhen National Astronomical Observatory Bulgaria 100 cm 2005– Rozhen, Bulgaria  Bulgaria
Swedish Solar Telescope (SST), Roque de los Muchachos Observatory Swedish Solar Telescope.jpg 100 cm 2002– La Palma, Spain  Sweden [11]
Prairie View Solar Observatory (PVSO) PVSO Dome.jpg 35 cm 1999– Texas, United States  United States
Upgraded Coronal Multi-Channel Polarimeter (UCOMP) 20 cm 2021– Mauna Loa, Hawaii, United States  United States
K-Coronagraph (K-COR) 20 cm 2013– Mauna Loa, Hawaii, United States  United States
Dutch Open Telescope (DOT), Roque de los Muchachos Observatory Dutch Open Telescope dome closed.jpg 45 cm 1997– La Palma, Spain  Netherlands
THÉMIS Solar Telescope, Teide Observatory Teide Observatorium THEMIS.jpg 90 cm 1996– Tenerife, Spain  Italy and  France
Vacuum Tower Telescope (VTT), Teide Observatory Teide Observatorium VTT.jpg 70 cm 1989– Tenerife, Spain  Germany [12]
Hida Domeless Solar Telescope (ja) 60 cm 1979– Takayama, Gifu, Japan  Japan [13]
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, United States  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, United States  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– Kodaikanal, India  India [14]
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 45 cm 1930– Tokyo, Japan  Japan [15]
Einsteinturm Einsteinturm 7443.jpg 60 cm 1924– Potsdam, Germany  Germany
150-foot tower, Mount Wilson Observatory The 150-Foot Solar Tower Observatory on Mt. Wilson as seen from near the base.jpg 35 cm (24") 1912– California, United States  United States [1]
Snow Solar Telescope, Mount Wilson Observatory 61 cm (24") 1904– California, United States  United States First solar tower telescope[16]
Lerebour/Grubb-Parsons, Kodaikanal Solar Observatory Kodaikanal Solar Observatory-a.jpg 20 cm 1901– Kodaikanal, India  India (1947- )
 United Kingdom (1901–1950)
Solar-T [pt] 2x7.6 cm 2016 Antarctica  Brazil [17]
Swedish Vacuum Solar Telescope, Roque de los Muchachos Observatory 47.5 cm 1985–2000 La Palma, Spain  Sweden Replaced by the SST
Gregory Coude Telescope (GCT) 45 cm[1] 1984–2002 Tenerife, Spain (1984–2002)  Germany Replaced by GREGOR[18][1]
Evans Solar Facility (ESF), Sacramento Peak 40 cm 1953–2014 Sunspot Solar Observatory, Sunspot, New Mexico, United States  United States [19]
Göttinger Sonnenturm (Solar Tower Telescope) 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, United States  United States Replaced the 10.5in in 1941
50-foot tower, McMath-Hulbert Observatory 40 cm 1936–1979 Michigan, United States  United States
10.5 inch, McMath-Hulbert Observatory 26.7 cm (10.5") 1930–1941 Michigan, United States  United States Replaced by the 24 inch in 1941
Arcetri Solar Tower, Arcetri Observatory 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 optical telescopes[edit]

Name/Observatory Image Aperture d. Status Location Country(s) Note
Coronal Solar Magnetism Observatory (COSMO) 150 cm proposed  United States [20]
National Large Solar Telescope (NLST) 200 cm proposed[21] Merak Village, Ladakh, India  India
Chinese Giant Solar Telescope (CGST) 500–800 cm planned Western part of China  China [22]
European Solar Telescope (EST) 400+ cm planned Canary Islands 15 European countries[23] [24]

Radio telescopes[edit]

Name/Observatory Image Frequency range Year(s) Location Country(s) Note(s)
Nançay Radioheliographe (NRH), Nançay Radio Observatory Nançay RH Est.jpg 150–450 MHz Sologne, Centre-Val de Loire, France  France [25]
Expanded Owens Valley Solar Array (EOVSA) OVSA2.jpg 1–18 GHz Sologne, Centre-Val de Loire, France  France Previously known as the Owens Valley Solar Array (OVSA) before getting an expansion to upgrade its control system and increase the total number of antennas to 15.[26]
Nobeyama Radioheliograph (NoRH), Nobeyama Radio Observatory 17 and 34 GHz Minamimaki, Nagano Prefecture, Japan  Japan [27]
Nobeyama Radio Polarimeters, Nobeyama Radio Observatory 1, 2, 3.75, 9.4, 17, 35, and 80 GHz Minamimaki, Nagano Prefecture, Japan  Japan [28]
Siberian Solar Radio Telescope (SSRT) East Sayan Mountains. The Siberian Solar Radio Telescope..jpg 1983– Republic of Buryatia, Russia  Russia [29]
Solar Submillimeter Telescope (SST), Complejo Astronomico El Leoncito SST with open radome.jpg 212 and 405 GHz 1999– San Juan Province, Argentina  Argentina SST is the only solar submillimeter telescope currently in operation.[30]
Polarization Emission of Millimeter Activity at the Sun (POEMAS), Complejo Astronomico El Leoncito POlarization Emission of Millimeter Activity at the Sun.jpg 45 and 90 GHz 2011– San Juan Province, Argentina  Argentina
Bleien Radio Observatory Bleien.JPG 10 MHz–5 GHz 1979– Gränichen, Switzerland   Switzerland [31]
Radio Solar Telescope Network (RSTN) 245, 410, 610, 1415, 2695, 4975, 8800 and 15400 MHz Australia; Italy; Massachusetts and Hawaii, United States  Australia,  Italy, and  United States A series of four radio telescopes located at various locations around the world.[31][32]

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[33][34]

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

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Big Bear Solar Observatory - Large Solar Telescopes".
  2. ^ Witze, A. (29 January 2020). "World's most powerful solar telescope is up and running". Nature. doi:10.1038/d41586-020-00224-z. PMID 33504997. S2CID 213261911.
  3. ^ "Welcome to the DKIST | DKIST".
  4. ^ "Cycle 1 Proposal Call Announcement". NSO/DKIST. Retrieved 2021-01-31.
  5. ^ Rao, Changhui; Gu, Naiting; Rao, Xuejun; Li, Cheng; Zhang, Lanqiang; Huang, Jinlong; Kong, Lin; Zhang, Ming; Cheng, Yuntao; Pu, Yi; Bao, Hua; Guo, Youming; Liu, Yangyi; Yang, Jinsheng; Zhong, Libo; Wang, Changjun; Fang, Kai; Zhang, Xiaojun; Chen, Donghong; Wang, Cheng; Fan, Xinlong; Yan, Zhiwu; Chen, Kele; Wei, Xiya; Zhu, Lei; Liu, Hong; Wan, Yongjian; Xian, Hao; Ma, Wenli (22 April 2020). "First light of the 1.8-m solar telescope–CLST". Science China Physics, Mechanics & Astronomy. 63 (10): 109631. Bibcode:2020SCPMA..6309631R. doi:10.1007/s11433-019-1557-3. S2CID 219039447. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  6. ^ GREGOR Website at KIS, Freiburg
  7. ^[bare URL PDF]
  8. ^ a b 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. S2CID 59054649.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-08. Retrieved 2015-06-16.{{cite web}}: 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.{{cite web}}: 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.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Telescope: Snow Solar Telescope".
  17. ^ P. Kaufmann. "THz Solar Observations on Board of a Trans-Antarctic Stratospheric Balloon Flight" (PDF). Retrieved 19 Aug 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link) CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2010-09-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "John W. Evans Solar Facility".
  20. ^ "COSMO | High Altitude Observatory".
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-09-05. Retrieved 2010-09-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ Y. Y. Deng (21 March 2011). "Introduction to the Chinese Giant Solar Telescope" (PDF). Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Home".
  25. ^ "Station de Radioastronomie de Nançay". Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  26. ^ "OVSA Expanstion Project." New Jersey Institute of Technology. Retrieved: 18 June 2017.
  27. ^ "Nobeyama Radioheliograph." Nobeyama Radio Observatory. Retrieved: 18 June 2017.
  28. ^ "Nobeyama Radio Polarimeters." Nobeyama Radio Observatory. Retrieved: 18 June 2017.
  29. ^ "The Siberian Solar Radio Telescope – ISTP SB RAS". Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  30. ^ Gimenez de Castro, C.G., Raulin, J.-P., Makhmutov, V., Kaufmann, P., Csota, J.E.R., Instantaneous positions of microwave solar bursts: Properties and validity of the multiple beam observations Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser., 140, 3, December II 1999 doi:10.1051/aas:1999428
  31. ^ a b "Radioastronomy FHNW". Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  32. ^ "Space Weather Services website". Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  33. ^ Sky & Telescope: David Lunt (1942-2005)
  34. ^ David Lunt biography, Solar Filter designer Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine