Care must be taken during the practical elements of this course.


  • NEVER directly observe the Sun either with your naked eyes or with binoculars or a telescope without special filters fitted by an expert. If you directly observe the Sun then you will be very likely to go blind. For more information view the sun safety page.
  • Observe with an adult. It is NOT advised to go out at night without parental or adult supervision.
  • At night use a torch and be wary of potential accidents, tripping over etc.
  • When spending a long time on a computer take plenty of breaks to rest your eyes, arms and back.



Visit the Sun Safety Page now

Health & Safety

The following comes from Page 34 of the Specification -

Attention is drawn to the need for safe practice when students carry out observation tasks. Relevant advice can be obtained from CLEAPPS. Risk assessments must be carried out for all observing tasks. It is the responsibility of the centre to carry out all risk assessments, to ensure that they are appropriate for their students, equipment and conditions.


Of particular concern is any observation of the Sun and the Moon. The Sun must not be viewed directly, either with or without optical aids. If the Moon is observed directly using a telescope at high magnification then a student’s ability to make further observations directly afterwards is impaired.

Health and safety is a particular concern throughout all of the observation tasks, but particularly in A3, B3, A8 and B8, which are concerned with observing phenomena related to the Sun.


Risk of Blinding

Don't ever look directly at the Sun through a telescope unless you have the proper filters. If you do then you will be permanently blinded. The retina does not produce pain signals and you may have no idea that damage is taking place until later. DO NOT RISK IT.


Never use these to view the Sun:

  • Binoculars
  • Reading glasses
  • Telescopes
  • Sunglasses
  • Scratched or broken solar filters or shades
  • Camera Film lens
  • Smoked Glass