Eclipses I've Seen

    Nothing fancy here, just a place to keep my photos and a few thoughts.

    The first solar eclipse I remember was the February 26, 1979 eclipse, when I was a 3rd grader in Wisconsin. We were getting 84% coverage, it was a painfully clear blue sky with not a cloud in sight...and we were all stuck in class. None of my teachers was doing any kind of eclipse-related activity, so I just sat in my desk staring out the window wishing I could discern any change in the brightness of the sky.

    The next one I remember was May 10, 1994. Again, I wasn't in the path of maximum (it was annular). I was in the physics tutoring room when it started, in my second year of grad school, and excitedly pointed out how the sunlight coming through the blinds made weird patterns once I noticed it. When my shift ended, I walked around the Ohio State University campus pointing out the "tree effect" (dappled sunlight through the leaves throwing crescents around) and showing how crossed fingers could put crescents on the ground. At the time I had no camera, so I got no photos of this.

October 23, 2014

    At this point, I was at Amarillo College, and our astronomy professor Dr. Hobbs was ready to set up outreach. It was a pretty minor eclipse, later in the day, but at least it was sunny. I took two pictures. The one on the left was a projected image on a "Sunspotter" device, on the right was taken by lining up my phone just right to the eyepiece of a telescope with a solar filter.

August 21, 2017

    With the expectation of 78% coverage, we planned for a lot more impressive of an event this time, with two telescopes prepared. In the end, it was never sunny enough for the telescopes to really work, and even the Sunspotter only cast images intermittently. I tried my hand at direct photography this time, both with eclipse glasses during breaks in the clouds, and with no filter (or just sunglasses) when the Sun was mostly behind hazy clouds. Of course, the Sun is tiny in the sky, so even at high resolution and zoomed in, the pictures are pretty small. I did get one picture from the Sunspotter, one decent one through eclipse glasses, two so-so picture through the glasses, several really bad ones I don't include here, and a few pretty nice cloud-filtred pictures. The very last one was taken after I figured out that using my sunglasses would help.

   Local newspaper coverage of the eclipse, I'm in the photo gallery and in the video.

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