I’m writing this blog because everybody knows the excitement of preparing for a special event before its about to happen, that great rush of expectation of what your about to see and experience, it’s such an unreal feeling and I have it right now :-))
With an event like a Total Eclipse of the Sun it’s the weather that is boss on the day if that does not play its part, nobody gets to see this amazing spectacle…so all of us astronomers will be watching breathlessly as the Sun rises from the ocean’s horizon at 5.40am on the morning of the 14th November.
A Total Eclipse of the Sun is a perfect alignment between the Earth, Moon and Sun producing an awesome phenomenon where our Moon will completely cover the Suns surface. By an incredible coincidence the Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun, and the Sun is 400 times further away…so the Moon can cover it perfectly…amazing isn’t it!
It’s said by those that have witnessed a Total Eclipse, that it’s the most wondrous celestial event in all of nature…I can’t wait to experience it too and I will share my images with you.
What will I be using on the day… I’ll be taking images through my Meade 8 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with an f6.3 focal reducer (that will make the Moon smaller in the field of view) and using my Canon 40D camera to capture the images. There will be a Thousand Oaks solar filter attached to the front lens of the telescope and also another solar filter on the finder scope.
Looking at the Sun is very dangerous only look if there are Solar Filters
On all viewing equipment.
I’ll also have my video camera attached to the top of the telescope with a solar filter fitted on the lens and I’ll just let it run for the whole time…must remember to take the solar filter off during Totality!!! There will also be another camera on a tripod with a 100-400mm lens to get wider field images of the Corona during Totality to try and capture the Solar Chromosphere and Prominences.
How long does everybody have to capture the whole event, we will have a leisurely one hour to take pictures of the Moon eclipsing the solar disc then, at approximately 6.40am the main spectacular event will happen ‘Totality’ we have just 2 minutes to capture the incredible event. Yes, just 2 minutes and this is a long one!
Two minutes to get everything right, exposures times, apertures, ISO’s and most importantly try to enjoy the amazing spectacle. Then another hour will past as the Moon slowly glides away from the surface of the Sun.
If you would like to view a live web cast of the event please go to the following web pages:
NASA’s Sun-Earth Day web site: http://venustransit.nasa.gov/2012eclipse/
Cairns Tourism web site: http://eclipse2012.org.au/
Southern Astronomical Society (Gold Coast) www.sas.org.au
If all goes well you’ll be seeing lots of beautiful images on my blog, if not…well that’s life,
the main thing is I tried… Noeleen :-)