Partial solar eclipse, Sunday Sep 13

posted: 803 days ago, on Monday, 2015 Sep 14 at 07:30
tags: astronomy, outreach, almanack, Sun, Moon, solar eclipse, lunar eclipse.

Sunday morning dawned cloudy in Somerset West, so I wrote off chances of seeing the partial solar eclipse. Then, all of a sudden, a break in the cloud bathed the neighbour's house in that lovely morning sunlight, and I scrambled to get binoculars and tripod ready. By angling my cellphone around I managed to catch an internal reflection of the Sun which itself was of course over-exposed. The reflected image [enlarged in the inset] shows the eclipse nicely.

As the pair of images below show, my eclipse setup was extremely minimal: a pair of Celestron binoculars on a tripod, a large white piece of paper propped up against a stand, and a cat. By offsetting the binoculars slightly, the projected solar image fell away from the shadow of the binoculars. It was then a simple matter to stand at such an orientation that my shadow shaded the projected solar image, making it very easy to photograph.

The neighbours came out to share the lovely view, and it was nice to step aside and let them stand in as shadow casters, thus capturing a "shadow selfie" along with the eclipse.

Elsewhere, friends & colleagues were being more sophisticated, as the image below shows. Top-left is Leslie Rose in action, capturing what would become his social & print & TV media-sensation images. Top-right is Johan Brink, who used a Regal Sweety wrapper to filter his camera. Bottom-left is Brett du Preez's hydrogen-alpha shot, which includes a prominence around 1 o'clock. Bottom-right is Ed Foster's detailed telescopic view.

Johan Moolman (Pretoria) produced a lovely collage showing the progress of the eclipse:

Johan also imaged the eclipse through a hydrogen-alpha filter, capturing lovely surface features as well as a prominence, as the four images on the left show. The right-most image is by Ray Brederode of Somerset West, who used a Canon 60D with a 50-mm lens to acquire this white light image.

Meanwhile, up in the Waterberg, Oleg Toumilovitch was enjoying the eclipse; see his images on Space Weather.

nothing more to see. please move along.