I observed the Sun earlier this afternoon using my 40mm f/10 Coronado PST H-alpha telescope and an 8-24mm Vixen zoom eyepiece at the 8, 12, 16, and 24mm settings. Present were a number of prominences, a couple of small sunspots, and some dark filmaments, one being rather long and on its way to the Sun's leading limb.
Today's space.weather.com image of the photosphere can be seen at http://spaceweather.com/images2014/16jan14/hmi4096_blank.jpg?PHPSESSID=0e7hm2nai36k41tnpcv5uerq60
Using a neighbor's house to block the Sun, I tried to sweep up Venus with Celestron Ultima 10x50s but was not successful. Venus was about 10 degrees to the west of the Sun, spanned 61 arc seconds, and was 1.6% illuminated at the time.
Sic itur ad astra!
Chance favors the prepared mind.
A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.