I took Mark’s advice and did some solar observatin’ this afternoon (July 4, 2005). Here are some of my best images, taken between from 2:27 to 2:52 pm EDT. All were taken through my 8-inch f/8 Newtonian reflector, protected with a 7-inch aperture Baader solar filter (effectively making the scope a 7-inch f/9). All were taken afocally with a Nikon Coolpix 800 digital camera. The full disk image was taken with a 32mm symmetrical eyepiece, the others with a 14mm Televue Radian.
The large group near the eastern (left) limb is Active Region (AR) 0786, the large group at center is AR 0783, and the small spot near the western limb is AR 0782. In all images north is at the top.
The images don’t quite compare with what was visible visually, but they give you a good idea of how active the sun’s face is right now. If you get a chance take a look yourself (if you have a safe solar filter for your scope of course!)
WARNING: Viewing the sun without proper protective devices can result in permanent eye damage.