The Spectrohelioscope Network

Managed by Fredrick Veio, Chris Westland and Mike Rushford

Since1970, Fred Veio has assisted many amateurs to build a spectrohelioscope (SHS) -- an instrument that allows you to image the sun in a very narrow band of color. His design is portable, compact, low cost, and was published in the January 1969 issue of Sky and Telescope.   His book on SHS (which can be downloaded from this page) appeared in 1972, followed by three more editions. A self made SHS will cost about $600. If an optical company makes the optics, total costs will be about $2000, including the grating. A professional SHS with long focal length optics, intricate machine shop parts, about $15,000.00.  

What's New on theSpectrohelioscope Network?... and more that will help you make high-quality slits (click a letter) A B C D E


Here are a few sites:     They present eight levels of linear dispersion. Level five is 1A/mm.
                                     Hale shs and Veio shs have 4A/mm, first order, at exit port. Using a
                                     2 inch f.l. single lens eyepiece is 5X (10 inch standard/2 inch = 5x),
                                     gives 0.8A/mm in first order, or about 0.3A/mm in second order.
                                     jhuapl is Johns Hopkins University Aplied Physics Laboratories.
                                     Level one is 16A/mm, level two is 8A/mm, and so on. All color.     
They have solar spectrum, black and white,
                                                               excellent. The same site has a profile of the
                                                               photosphere of the sun atmosphere. Good.


Fredrick Veio, July 2011

The home page of spectrohelioscope has 121 short articles. I numbered

the titles of the sentences and have detailed some of the topics, as photos

or text, whatever. You can find my discussions and photos more easily.

You do not need a degree in physics or chemistry in order to understand

the basics of the SHS, but about two years of college physics, chem and

astronomy are desirable. You do not need lots of shop tools, just basic

hammer, saws, vice, drill press, and so on. So do not worry. Just basic

wood construction, simple materials, will save much money and time.

There are some entry errors over the years, so I put error or nothing,

whatever, after the beginning of the article.


1. Fred's comments on Zeeman lines. Fred's comments on Zeeman lines

2. Fred's May 2010 solar magnetograph with a SHS, ten pages text and

two drawings. Fred's May 2010 Solar Magnetograph with a Spectroheliograph.pdf

3. Solar features: 13 professional images, good.

4. The sun's Fraunhofer lines; title error of spectrum, should be Veio

SHS in 1972, Klass Honders, Veio spectroscope of 3 pages, Manning's

SHS; and title error of profile, should be Manning's SHS, Honders,

Veio spectroscope plans of 1990, PEP spectroscope of 3 pages.

5. Useful information of human eye and SHS.

6. Zeeman lines, summary, Higgins, Veio, Rousselle, one page.

7. Annotated gallery of SHS by amateurs of the world: 25 images; Veio,

Honders, Manning, Severijins, Beeker, Planetman, Ohnishi, Rousselle,

Cort, Groski, Young, Higgins, Barthelemy, Marcon, Lovato, Shivak,

Mruk, Florentino, Poecke, Glitsch, Rushford, Westland, Ohnishi.

8. Solar images from SHS by amateurs: 12 images, Honders, Grigsby,

Rousselle, Perry, Manning, Lille.

9. Several coelostat designs by Veio, Marcon, Beeker, photos.

10. Professional equipment and photos: Yerkes Obser., 1974 H alpha

photos by U.S.A.F., Veio at Mt. Wilson 1981, Astronomical League

booklet, Dr. R. Dunn, etc.

11. Solar images by professional, ditto above and new stuff.

12. SHS timeline, history of SHS from Hale 1924 to 2002.

13. Highlights from SHS Forum.


14. Veio's plans, 2008, solar spectroscope, 12 inch (300mm) f.l.,

15. Fred Veio's 119 page book The SHS, free download.

16. Disregard, a mess.

17. Veio's article SHS Designs, nine pages, in plain text.

Quick notes on building a SHS.

18. David Lyon's synopsis on Solar Spectroscopy, 8 pages.

19. M. Hill, Dual Grating Prominence Telescope, four pages.

20. W. J. Semerau's SHS, five pages, 1958.

21. G. F. Frazier's SHS, 1974.

22. Coelostat, one page text.

23. Theory of diffraction gratings, error, Russian stuff.

24. Determination of the blaze wavelength, three pages.

25. C. Palmer's 143 page Grating Handbook, announcement.

26. Coronagraphs, one page text and drawing.

27. Synthesizers. Entry error, nothing.

28. Fred Veio, selecting optics for a solar spectroscope, 3 pages, 2002.

29. Bare bones solar spectrograph, Veio, 1972, violet spectrogram.

30. Fred's visual acutiy and factors to consider in SHS.

31. Fred's notes on solar magnetic fields: Veio, very large solar spec-

troscope, Dec. 2002, 17 photos; Veio, visual acuity; Pettit prisms, 2002;

Veio, solar magnetic fields, June 2002; Veio, photo 16 inch f.l.(300mm)

solar spectroscope;Veio, Sky and Telescope, Jan.1969,SHS; three page

drawings of Young synthesizer; Veio, Journal B.A.A., Feb., 1975, SHS,

photos and text.

32. Fred's notes of visual brightness on solar disk in SHS.

33. Ondrejov Observatory, Czech, multi-wavelength spectroscope, lovely.

34. Fred's large (rebuilt) spectroscope, 2004, pictures by P. Kobetz.

35. PlanetMan's SHS.

36. Fred's notes: Petitt prisms; very large spectroscope, 2002; visual

acuity;Pettit prisms; solar mag fields; Veio 16 inch f.l. (400mm)spectro-

scope; Sky and Telescope, 1969, SHS; Journal B.A.A., 1975, SHS.

37. G. Hale's SHS, ATM book, vol. 1, SHS.

38. Ditto of 36 above.

39. Some alternative SHS designs, George Haig, two pages, Journal

B.A.A., vol 108, p. 6, 1998.

40. A new SHS, Brian G. Manning, Journal B.A.A., vol.92, p. 112, 1982.

41. Optical improvement in SHS, E. Pettit, two separate Anderson prisms.

42. H. R. Hatfield, Sevenoaks SHS, nine pages, part I, 1988.

43A. H. R. Hatfield, modified SHS, part 2, 1994.

43B. Veio, rebuilt SHS, 0.1A passband, one page, ATM Journal, 1996.

44. Groski's solar prominence scope.

45. Rousselle SHS, rebuilt, 2002, excellent.

46. Ivan Glitsch. 47.Honders, Grigsby, Rousselle, Perry,Manning photos.

48. Brian Manning's SHS, one spectroheliogram, drawing of Doppler

shift with excellent spectrogram of Na lines.

49. Fred's warning on gratings: text, comparisons, comments.

50. Selecting optics for a solar spectroscope: Veio spectroscope,

16 inch f.l. (400mm), four pages, 2002.

51. Surplus Shed, to 69 for optical companies and quality optics.

70. Yahoo, SHS Forum, Fred Veio host, photo of Fred with front of very

large solar spectroscope and heliostat on home page.

71. Leonard Higgins' SHS.

72. Various web sites to 84.

85. Medieval solar astronomy, India.

86. Medieval Solar astronomy, India.

87. SHS, Hale, 1926, to 91, SHS, Hale, 1929. Three of his original papers.

A fourth one not mentioned, it is moving prism SHgraph mode, good.

92. Solar spectrum, Paris observatory in France, BASS2000, excellent.

93. Reflective spectroscopic slit, M. Gavin, SHS.

94. Nothing.

95. Solar eclipse of 2006.

96. Solar spectrum, profile of photosphere, excellent, Paris observatory.

97. Solar rotation Doppler shift, Rousselle spectrogram, excellent.

98. Sun spot spectra, Rousselle.

99. SHS, Camiel Severijn, the Netherlands, excellent.

100. to 102, C. Buil LHIRES III SHgraph mode.

103. SHS by Leonard Higgins, 1998 Merit Award at Riverside Conference.

In 1999, SHS partly rebuilt, Veio and Higgins observed first Zeeman line.

Year 2002 Veio and Higgins identified Zeeman line wavelengths. Year

2003 Veio observe Zeeman line with very large solar spectrscope.

106 to 109, Solar spectrum atlas in color, Rousselle, France, excellent.

112. Zeeman effect.

121. The SHS.

End of the SHS web site.

Fred's comments on Zeeman lines

Fred's May 2010 Solar Magnetograph with a Spectroheliograph.pdf

BuyRightAuctions: great source for discount gratings, monochrometers (email:

Here's what you can see with a Spectrohelioscope

Solar Features (courtesy of NASA)
The Sun's Fraunhofer Lines
Here is some useful information about the Human Eye and SHS design

Zeeman lines

The Spectrohelioscope in Brief 

Click here to see an annotated gallery of spectrohelioscopes constructed by amateurs from around the world
Click here to see solar images from spectrohelioscopes constructed by amateurs from around the world
Click here to see several coelostat designs by Fred Veio and others on this site
Professional Equipment and Photos
Click here to see some solar images by professionals

A Spectrohelioscope Timeline

Click here to see highlights from the Spectroheliscope Forum

Spectrohelioscope Theory and Design

Hale at the Yerke's Spectrohelioscope

Fredrick Veio's Plans forspectroscope
Fredrick Veio's 119 page Book "The Spectrohelioscope "  in Adobe Acrobat .PDF    Get   Acrobat Reader
31 May 2002 Update Pages for "The Spectrohelioscope"  (be sure to add these to your copy!)
Fredrick Veio's article "Spectrohelioscope Designs" in PDF (or in plain text or in MS-Word format)
(these are Fred's quick notes on building a spectrohelioscope; very useful if you are not yet ready to read his 119 page book)
David Lyon's synopsis "Solar Spectroscopy"  in PDF (or in MS-Word format)
Michael Hill's "Dual Grating Prominence Telescope" in PDF (or in MS-Word format)
Walter J. Semerau's "Spectroheliograph" in PDF (SciAm Amateur Scientist c. 1958 and thanks to Norm Anheier)
Gene F. Frazier's  "Spectrohelioscope" in PDF (SciAm Amateur Scientist c. 1974 and thanks to Norm Anheier)
A novel idea for a ceolostat in PDF
HyperPhysics on the Theory of Diffraction Gratings
RGL's "Determination of the Blaze Wavelength" in PDF (or in MS-Word format)
Christopher Palmer's 143 page Diffraction Grating Handbook (HTML)
On Coronagraphs
Standard Designs for Synthesizers
Fred Veio writes about Selecting Optics for a Solar Spectroscope
A bare bones solar spectrograph
Fred's notes on Visual Acuity and Factors to Consider in an SHS
Fred's notes on Solar magnetic fields
Fred's notes on thevisual brightness of the solar disk in an SHS

Ondrojev Observatory multi-wavelength spectroscope

Pictures and Documentation on

Freds large spectrometer pictures  taken by Paul Kobetz 2004

PlanetMan's Spectrohelioscope  (with continuing updates and commentary)

Fred's notes on Petit Prisms

G. Hale's Spectrohelioscope Design Fred's notes on Visual Acuity and SHS Design (and look here as well)

Articles describing alternative image synthesizer designs:
George Haig's article "

Some alternative spectrohelioscope designs" in PDF (c. 1998 and thanks to David Groski)

Brian Manning's article "

A new spectrohelioscope" in PDF (c. 1982 and thanks to David Groski)

Edison Petit's article "

An optical improvement in the spectrohelioscope" in PDF (c. 1939 and thanks to David Groski)

H.R. Hatfield on the "SevenOaks Spectrohelioscope -

part 1 (1988)  and part 2 (1994)" in PDF (thanks to David Groski) Fred Veio's  article on "Rebuilding the 60mm Spectrohelioscope" in PDF (c. 1983) David Groski's Solar Prominance Scope Phil Rousselle's SHS (Wow!)

New material from

Ivan Glitsch, Wallisellen Switzerland; Klass Honders, The Netherlands Brian Manning's SHS

Sources for Parts and Materials

Important note:

Fredrick Veio's warnings on purchased gratings

Selecting Optics for a Solar Spectroscope

Surplus Shed for the serious hobbyist or experimenter to browse around

China Daheng Corp. is an inexpensive source for gratings and other optics

Sterling Resale Optics for the serious hobbyist or experimenter to browse around

BSC Optics for the serious hobbyist or experimenter to browse around

Apogee Optics for the serious hobbyist or experimenter to browse around

CVI quality laser optics

Edmund Scientific for the serious hobbyist or experimenter to browse around

Melles Griot laser optics

New Focus  components and research quality optics

Newport Corporation for the serious hobbyist or experimenter to browse around

Oriel A great source for filters and specialized optics

ThorLabs components and research quality optics

Richardson Grating Labs (now called ThermoRGL)

Diffracton Products, Inc;

Dr. Edward Leibhardt, President, 9416 West Bull Vally Rd.,P.O. Box 1030
Woodstock, IL 60098, USA; Phone: (815)338-6768; Fax: (815)338-7167

Jobin-Yvon, gratings and equipment 

Daystar Filters (Amateur H-alpha, etc. filters)

Coronado Filters (H-alpha, etc.; I personally prefer the Daystar)

Lumicon prominence filters

Thousand Oaks Prominence Filters

Zeiss Solar Instruments


The Yahoo! Spectrohelioscope Forum (This is the main discussion forum used by Fred Veio, David Groski, David Lyon and other contributors to this site)

Joe Bartolick

EAS talk slides at


Voice recording, right click link below and save, if you want to save the audio file to your disk.


movies at

0708 stack.avi

031310 filament 2.avi

032610 wave stack complete.avi

082309 prominence movie cropped.avi

Tune through movie.avi

Visit with Joe, Nov 25, 2011 by Mike Rushford  View Album Play slideshow


Leonard Higgins Spectrohelioscope

NASA's Solar Data Analysis Center (current events and news on the Sun)

Franky DuBois' Sun Page

Andre Rondi's Coronascope

Sirius Observatory Spectrohelioscope

Rogerio Marcon of Brazil

Westland's old site

The Yerkes Observatory Spectrohelioscope

The National Solar Observatory at Kitt Peak

The 150-Foot Solar Tower at Mt. Wilson Observatory


Solar Physics (by NASA)

Solar Astronomy for Kids (at heart)

Lots of other Solar Telescope Links


Medieval Solar Astronomy


Medieval Solar Astronomy


Medieval Solar Astronomy

 Papers from the Hale erra:

The Spectrohelioscope by Hale 1926PASP___38___96H.pdf  by George E. Hale 

The spectrohelioscope Hale 1926Obs____49__372H.pdf George E. Hale 

The spectrohelioscope and its work PART I History, instruments, Adjustments, and Methods of Observation by George E. Hale 

The spectrohelioscope and its work PART II  by George E. Hale 

The spectrohelioscope and its work PART III  by George E. Hale 

Links added by Mike Rushford

solar spectrum

wpo - a reflective spectroscopic slit & its application


solar corona Polarization observation

Solar Type spectrum

Solar rotation doppler shift

Sun Spot spectra


Spectrometer calibration


Long slit Intermediate resolution Spectrograph for Astronomy

The SpectroHelioScope by Leonard Higgins and Fred Veio

Filter of Lyot.

Light and polarization.

Solar spectrum Atlas

Blue to green visible spectrum image

Green to Red visible spectrum

Blue to Red visible spectrum

Weird Telescopes

Chris Westland's Incomplete SHS projects

Zeeman Effect

Optical Aperture's/Components



El Cheapo Tooling for Curve Generating






Updates by Mike Rushford 2011-11-20