Our recent solar eclipse.

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Walter Piorkowski
Posts: 684
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:42 pm
Location: South Beloit, Ill

Our recent solar eclipse.

Post by Walter Piorkowski »

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Hello all. Have not posted any photomicrographs lately but I thought I might share some of my total solar eclipse shots. The goal of my 2500 mile expedition was to capture the sun's beautiful corona. After 3 attempts, since 1970, I was blessed with a gap in the clouds. The top 2 images show as much of the corona's outer extent as I could capture plus a added bonus of the star Regulus in the lower left hand corner. The third image shows some details of the red chromosphere with three prominences on the limb. The final image is a classic diamond ring image. Enjoy
Walt

Chris S.
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Location: Ohio, USA

Post by Chris S. »

Walt, I’m delighted that you posted these images! :smt004

Like you, I traveled for the eclipse (about 3,000 miles, in my case). Found totality astonishing—definitely worth the trip. (Even worth the six-hour traffic jam that followed totality. :smt093)

Having before seen a partial eclipse, and now a total, I found that there is no apt comparison between these phenomena—a total eclipse is a completely different experience. Perhaps the biggest element in this difference is seeing the sun’s corona, in all its filamentous glory--something only visible during totality.

Your second image, in particular, shows the corona much as my eyes remember it, viewed through a pair of 16x binoculars. Most photographs I’ve seen have not managed to convey this. Bravo!

Could you please tell us more about how you made these images? Am guessing that at least the first three images involved multiple exposures and HDR processing. The third image—showing the prominences—must have required an H-alpha filter? If so, what kind of H-alpha filter, and how many Angstroms bandpass?

Cheers,

--Chris S.

PS--I chose to not take a camera to this event--just watch. Have no regrets about this decision, but also now feel strong yearnings to gear up, learn much, and aggressively photograph future eclipses. No, no, no! I absolutely do not need to get sucked into another expensive photographic specialty. {-X #-o

JW
Posts: 162
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:38 am
Location: New Haven, CT, USA

Post by JW »

Excellent photos Walt - we traveled 3600 miles round trip, and like Chris, took no serious photo equipment. Awesome experience, well worth the time spent.

Here is an image of shadows of leaves made by the crescent sun, at about 95% coverage of the sun by moon.

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It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see - Henry David Thoreau

Walter Piorkowski
Posts: 684
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:42 pm
Location: South Beloit, Ill

Post by Walter Piorkowski »

Hello Chris. JW. The photos you see, believe it or not, are all single shots that I tweaked from RAW capture using RAW manipulation software and then some additional processing in Photoshop. Mainly shadowes and highlights. Many more advanced imagers did use multiple exposure HDR processing but I did not.

My equipment and the lack of clouds over the sun during totality is my "luck" in getting these images. I spent 28 years working in the astronomical telescope business and I own a 4 inch ED apochromatic refactor prototype that has a special tele-compressor lens assembly bringing it's f/ratio to f/4.5. These high quality optics help produce sharpness and contrast, as all wavelengths of light in the visible spectrum are brought to a crisp focus. The focal length was also perfect for the field of view required, This big lens was mounted on a heavy tripod and the camera, a Sony NEX 5 N was triggered by IR remote to avoid vibration.

Each image shows the detail it has by virtue of exposure time alone. No H-alpha equipment needed during a total eclipse. The prominences seen are highlighted in that one image by me pulling up the vibrancy and saturation alone. The moon had to move off to the lower left to expose the chromesphere and those prominence plus the shorter exposure time, as not to burn them in too badly. Hope that helps.

Like the both of you I planned initially to just view through a telescope naked eye, but the photographer in me won out in the end and due to camera malfunction during those precious 2 1/2 minutes, I never got to look through it as you did. No regrets though, I am thrilled with the images.

Walt

Smokedaddy
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Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 10:16 am
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
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Post by Smokedaddy »

Excellent images! I setup a projection system at my place. We didn't have a 100% Eclipse here in Arizona. It's a plano-convex lens with a very long focal length which gives it a large image scale and freedom from color aberration. It has about a 85 foot focal length. Here's a super short video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gvWw3e6rL4

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-JW:

Olympusman
Posts: 4515
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:31 pm

Eclipse

Post by Olympusman »

Lucky you. In general, whenever such events (eclipse, meteor showers) it will be cloudy in our area.
Nice stuff.

Mike
Michael Reese Much FRMS EMS Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

Walter Piorkowski
Posts: 684
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:42 pm
Location: South Beloit, Ill

Post by Walter Piorkowski »

Smokedaddy, nice heliostat setup there. Just love those things. Built one big 10 inch plus two coelostats of that size for solar studies. Olympusman, don't forget I was clouded out three times before costing a bundle in lost time, wages etc. I know what you mean.
Walt

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