The 2017 Eclipse

posted by mark
Aug 20

In spite of other plans, thing worked out that I was not going to be able to travel for the Great American Eclipse tomorrow, 21 August, 2017.

That’s OK, my brother is and hopefully he sees some great sky tomorrow.

So making the best of the situation, tomorrow is a practice run for April 8th, 2024, the next total eclipse, which happily will pass very near to our home town.

And in the spirit of being prepared, and hopeful that the sky will cooperate, today I went out around the right time and did a complete run through, including taking pictures, lots of pictures.  Although tomorrow will hopefully be even more pictures, hopefully.

Setting up for a trial run

Setting up for a trial run

I can tell you that it was warm this afternoon, 89.6 degrees when I checked the weather…  You can tell my helpers are covering things for me while I do the heavy lifting… LOL

I’m being a high tech red neck.  If you read my earlier post reviewing the telescope I bought, then you will notice the wooden “stand” the telescope is mounted on.  This allows me to view most of the sky, and particularly the track the sun will be following during the eclipse period.

Here is one of my test pictures, I love the effect of the clouds passing in front of the sun.  Note the group of sunspots almost perfectly centered on the sun and framed by the clouds.

Passing clouds

Passing clouds

The telescope has a Canon T3i with a 2X extender, giving me an ballpark focal length of 1250mm.  I am shooting using the Canon utility which allows me to use live view to work on focus and exposure and the Goto computer on the telescope mount that allows me to move the tube to track the sun.  When the sun is out, it is bright enough that seeing the screens is difficult, but a hood made out of a cardboard box shields the laptop for me… 🙂

Taking pictures during the trial run

Taking pictures during the trial run

While I do have some issues with the focusser, I was able to get quite a few good shots today.  I played with several different settings and exposures, so hopefully I am as prepared as I can be, now we will just have to hope the clouds hold off, or at least we can get some good views of the sun during the eclipse.

I’ll close with one of the shots I like that that was clear and  you can clearly see there  is a group of sunspots centered in the image, with one trailing on the far left side just in view.

Practicing on the Sun

Practicing on the Sun

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