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ECLIPSES

2017:TOTALITY

TEM-01—Expanded view of the corona during totality. Nine frames at varying exposures were combined to create this detailed view of the corona. The star Regulus is seen at lower left.

On August 21, 2017 just after 9:06 a.m. in Madras, Oregon, the moon began to obscure the sun’s face. One hour and thirteen minutes later, the moon begins to completely cover the disk of the sun in one of the wondrous alignments of the solar system: a total solar eclipse. The sky grew dark as the moon’s shadow raced over our heads, the temperature dropped twenty degrees Fahrenheit, an eerie deep twilight settled around us. For just over two minutes we watched in astonishment as a black spot hovered where the sun should be. Large tendrils of plasma extended like a huge creature in the sky around the disk: the corona. Below is a selection of images from the two minutes of totality and the two hours and thirty-five minutes of eclipse.  (Click on images to enlarge)

TEM-02—Single frame image of the sun/moon during totality.

TEM-03—Sequence of telephoto images of the sun/moon during partial and total phases.

TEM-04—Sequence of the sun/moon in the sky above Madras High School. The scoreboard is counting down the seconds to the end of totality.

TEM-05—The sun/moon in the sky above Madras High School. The scoreboard is counting down the seconds to the end of totality.

TEM-06—NASA photographer Aubrey Gemignani, Ann and myself during totality.

TEM-07—Sunspots in the lower left corner of the sun over an hour after the moon began to cover the sun.

TEM-08—The “diamond ring” effect just before second contact.

TEM-09—“Bailey’s beads” appear just before totality.

TEM-10—Red prominences are seen extending from the sun’s surface during totality.

TEM-11—More red prominences are seen as the moon just starts to move off the suns’ disk.

TEM-12—“Bailey’s beads” appear just after third contact.

TEM-13—The “diamond ring” effect just after third contact.

TEM-14—Sunspots in the center of the sun during the second partial phase.

 

IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON

11:11 am, MARCH 20, 2015, LONGYEARBYEN, SPITSBERGEN, SVALBARD

Totality

Totality   (SV-01)

Progression: the sun and moon every five mintues

Progression: the sun and moon every five minutes  (SV-09)

Truly a memorable experience being in Longyearbyen, Svalbard at 78 degrees, 15 minutes north latitude, where the moons’ shadow as it obscured the sun crossed our path during the total solar eclipse of March 20, 2015. It seemed to happen in a flash: the moon almost covering the solar disk, the light on the snowy plain dimming, then suddenly it became dark and there was a black disk in the sky where the sun had been, surrounded by the shimmering corona. The whole scene seemed to be in black and white. White snow and a stark landscape provided no distractions as we viewed the spectacle in front of us. It almost seemed to take forever- when was the sun going to return?

The setting could not have been better- standing on snow covered ice, looking through a gap in the snow covered mountains of Spitsbergen Island. Many thanks to the people at Travel Quest for organizing this complicated trip and finding the perfect eclipse viewing location.

"Second contact" just before the moon covers the solar face

“Second contact” just before the moon covers the solar face   (SV-02)

 

A wide view of our spectacular site.

A wide view of our spectacular site.  (SV-04)

Mid-totality

Mid-totality   (SV-05)

Red solar prominences during totality, including a small one being flung off into space

Red solar prominences during totality, including a small one being flung off into space   (SV-06)

 

"Third contact', the moon moves off the face of the sun

“Third contact’, the moon moves off the face of the sun   (SV-07)

A crescent appears as the moon returns the sun to us

A crescent appears as the moon returns the sun to us  (SV-08)

 

THE DAWN NORTH WIND

March 20 aurora over Longyearbyen

March 20 aurora over Longyearbyen   (SV-20)

Here are the magical streamers of lights in the sky, seen from the far north, that we know as aurora borealis. Galileo poetically named them the dawn north wind after Aurora, the Roman goddess of dawn and Boreas, the Greek name for the north wind. These are all from one fantastic night of aurora borealis viewing in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. In fact, one fantastic hour as the aurora rose from the horizon, spreading wide past our peripheral vision, shooting straight overhead and engulfing the Big Dipper, which is seen high in the sky from this latitude. Just 12 hours after the total solar eclipse we were treated to this display of the solar wind interacting with the earth’s atmosphere.

 

The scene at Camp Barentz outside of Longyearbyen

The scene at Camp Barentz outside of Longyearbyen   (SV-21)

Sunlight reflects off an Iridium satellite near Jupiter to the right

Sunlight reflects off an Iridium satellite near Jupiter to the right   (SV-22)

A 'curtain' shape

A ‘curtain’ shape  (SV-23)

Another 'curtain'

Another ‘curtain’  (SV-24)

One of the more impressive shapes

One of the more impressive shapes  (SV-25)

Directly overhead, 12:14:56 am, these five happen in the span of one minute

Directly overhead, 12:14:56 am, these five happen in the span of one minute   (SV-26)

12:15:08 am

12:15:08 am  (SV-27)

12:15:20 am

12:15:20 am  (SV-28)

12:15:38 am

12:15:38 am  (SV-29)

12:15:53 am

12:15:53 am  (SV-30)

 

 

 

TOTAL LUNAR, APRIL 2014

The total lunar eclipse of April 14-15, 2014. Incredible view from the Very Large Array radio telescope in southwestern New Mexico. As the moon was deep into the partial phase, stars that were drowned out by the brilliant full moon began appearing. During totality the sky was full of stars and the red moon was accompanied by Mars. Midway through totality the Milky Way rose in the east, an astonishing site as we were treated to a celestial show throughout the night.

Three hours forty minutes

Three hours forty minutes

Moon eclipsed

Moon eclipsed

Full moon and moon in totality

Full moon and moon in totality

Moon in totality with Mars, Milky Way rising

Moon in totality with Mars, Milky Way rising

Moon in totality with Mars, Milky Way rising

Moon in totality with Mars, Milky Way rising

Full moon, before eclipse

Full moon, before eclipse

 

OCTOBER 2014 LUNAR AND SOLAR

North America saw two eclipses in October- a total lunar eclipse on Oct. 8 and a partial solar eclipse on Oct. 23. Much of the northeast was clouded over for the solar eclipse,  the moon would not have much of “bite” taken out of the sun anyway at our longitude. So I drove to Cleveland, the nearest big city with a clear forecast. I met up the the Cuyahoga Astronomical Association members who were having a public eclipse viewing event at Voinovich Park along Lake Erie and near the downtown. The sky was clear up until the horizon, when just before sunset clouds obscured the sun, though making for some dramatic photos.   

 

Mid eclipse: clouds and sunspot AR2192

Mid eclipse: clouds and sunspot AR2192

Solar: Sun setting in clouds partially eclipsed.

Sun setting in clouds

Eclipse every  4 minutes through the trees at Voinovich Park.

Every 4 minutes through the trees at Voinovich Park

Sunspot AR2192 mid-eclipse

Sunspot AR2192 mid-eclipse

Projection of the eclipse image by Gary Kader through an 1874 Alvan Clark refractor.

Projection of the eclipse image by Gary Kader through an 1874 Alvan Clark refractor

 

The Oct. 8 lunar eclipse was visible from my vantage point in Queens looking at the Manhattan skyline over the East River. The moon became totally eclipsed as the sky was brightening just before sunrise.

Total lunar eclipse and Empire State Building.

Total lunar eclipse and Empire State Building.

Moon and cloud in mid-eclipse.

Moon and cloud in mid-eclipse.

Total lunar eclipse as moon sets behind Manhattan skyline.

Total lunar eclipse as moon sets behind Manhattan skyline.

Partial phase of total lunar eclipse as moon sets behind Manhattan skyline.

Partial phase of total lunar eclipse as moon sets behind Manhattan skyline.