Friday, May 10, 2013

Quick Images of the Solar Eclipse from Adelaide, 10 May 2013

The Sun finally rises above the cloud at 7:42 am (binocular projection) Click on this or any image to embiggen for greater viewing pleasureNear maximum eclipse, 8:15 am. Taken through my 4" Newtonian with a 30 mm Plossl eyepiece and a Canon IXUS 400 ASA 1/500 sec exposure (infinity to infinity focussing). Nice and clear, good detail on the sunspots, shame about the guff on the CCD chip (upper left)
Gaps between the vine leaves on the verandah acted as a pinhole camera and cast shadows of the eclipse on the wall.As the Moon moved off the Sun, the cloud came over again. This is a nice effect I think. The image is brighter due to auto exposure over compensating.
The Moon edges off the Sun - Binocular Projection9:20 am, the Moon is just about to leave the Sun. Foolishly, I tried to swap lenses. This was a disaster, went back to the original lens, but forgot to adjust the focus (GRRR) so everything is slightly out of focus.

so I got up at 5:30 am to prepare for the eclipse. Most of that preparation was making the boys lunches early so I didn't have to interrupt eclipse viewing to get them ready. Needn't have bothered as the cloud meant the Sun wasn't visible until after they had left for School.

All the plans I had made for viewing the eclipse were thrown out by the cloud lurking on the horizon. There was no point going to the viewing spot I selected as the cloud rendered it pointless, so I viewed from my back yard instead.

At least that gave me plenty of time to set up my telescope and binocular projection system. I was also going to set up the SLR camera, but the solar filter I had made for it was tidied away in the Great Room Renovation, and I stuck with the two systems I had.

The Sun finally struggled through the clouds, already significantly eclipsed. But it did look quite dramatic with the cloud streaked over it. This was the point everything started to go wrong with the telescope. First I couldn't get the scope pointed, after much struggle and a strategic move of a portable washing line to project the shadow of the scope, I finally got it lined up. Then the camera adaptor wouldn't adapt. I've been using it quite a lot, but this morning I just couldn't get anything to align.

I finally got it set up and taking pictures just before maximum eclipse, and got through util 8:30, when I had to take smallest one to School. He did see the eclipse at maximum, and the pinhole shadows made by the vine leaves though. I was noticeably cool as we walked to school.

When I got back, clouds had come over again. After a bit of futzing around I got imaging again.

Then I had the bright idea of swapping lenses from the 30 mm Plossl to the 25 mm Plossl, we that was a disaster, if I had trouble with the camera adaptor with the 30 mm, the 25 mm was a nightmare. Note that this is my workhorse combination for lunar imaging, so I have no idea why it went pear-shaped today.

Went back to the 30 mm, and started taking snaps, as the Moon edged off the Sun. To capture it clearly, I ran set of 10 auto exposures. It was only after the eclipse was over that I realised that I had forgotten to refocus after swapping lenses, so I have a complete set of the Sun moving off the Moon, out of focus.

Still, I got to see it, and it was awesome.The sight of the eclipsed Sun emerging through the clouds, the crescent shadows, the big bite through the Sun, the cool effects of thin cloud going over, and sharing it with SmallestOne. Who cares if a few photos are out of focus.


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