Sunday, 29 March 2015

The solar eclipse, as observed from Truro

To observe the solar eclipse of 20th March 2015, to get a nice clear view of the sky to the southeast, where the eclipse would be visible, I went into a field just up the road from where I live in Truro, that we called the Donkey Field in my childhood, because the field adjoining it had donkeys in it at one point.

I set up a pair of binoculars, with one lens open, and a piece of card to shade it, and a cardboard box with paper stuck to the inside of the base. Fortunately I managed to find the adaptor I had that allows me to attach the binoculars to a tripod. I also show below the method advocated by the Royal Astronomical Society using a colander.

I used the software Darktable for processing the images, for example to improve the contrast on the projected solar disk against the background.

My main gallery of these is on my Google+ profile. Pictures from a trip I took to Turkey in 2006 are also available: digital pictures, analogue ones. The latter had a technical failure, involving the film not winding on properly in combination with some light exposure to the film, which I think makes them artistic in a way.

A short while after first contact at the beginning of the eclipse, at about 0825 UT
Mum and Dad, with the setup. 0837 UT
Some small crescents projected via the colander. 0858 UT

Notice a darker spot near the bottom of the Sun as seen on this picture, this is in fact a sunspot group visible on the solar photosphere. 0905 UT

Some helpful passers-by lent us their pram to hold the box in place.

0914 UT

0915 UT

0916 UT

An atmosphere shot, it was a hazy day. There was a definite drop in light level and an unusual quality to the light that is difficult to get from the photographs. 0921 UT

Close to greatest eclipse (88%) 0924 UT

0928 UT

The firemen and their platform.

Myself, with the setup. 0942 UT

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