Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

Discussion in 'Photo Assignments & Technical Challenges' started by OrionsByte, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. OrionsByte

    OrionsByte No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Two months from today, on May 20, 2012, there will be a annular solar eclipse visible from the southwestern United States, and much of the rest of the country will get to experience a partial eclipse.

    I wanted to get this topic started so that those of us that might have an interest in photographing this event could start sharing tips and ideas, and perhaps even arranging some meet-ups for the event itself.

    Here's a link to a NASA web page that shows the path of the eclipse. You can click anywhere on the map and it will give you a marker for that location that will display the times of the eclipse at that location, and how much of an eclipse you'll get to see from there. My house is literally about 5 miles south of the southernmost edge of where you can see the full eclipse from, so we'll likely be taking a field trip that day. :)

    I know I'm definitely interested in making this at least partially a photographic experience, and I'd really like to see some advice from other members that have shot eclipses before. I'll do my own googling and such as well of course, but first-hand knowledge and experience is always good to tap in to.

    EDIT: I had originally described this as a total eclipse, but it's actually an annular eclipse, which means the moon will appear slightly smaller than the sun and won't block it completely out.


     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  2. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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  3. Trever1t

    Trever1t Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Looks like I am 4 hours from the blue line....maybe worth a sunday drive ;)
     
  4. RedVixen81

    RedVixen81 TPF Noob!

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    ok so i am in texas.. and the blue and red line does not extend to where i live.. does this mean that we will not see it at all?
     
  5. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Nope. The sun will have set by then.

    Depending on where you are, you may see a partial eclipse.
     
  6. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm going to miss it too... And I have to work that day anyway.

    But the 2024 April 8 Total Eclipse is going to pass directly over me - assuming I don't move by then.
     
  7. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    There's always August 21, 2017! I've got my two primary spots already picked out.
     
  8. Austin Greene

    Austin Greene Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Out of curiosity, how exactly would you go about shooting directly at the sun? My house in Redding,CA is about 45 minutes from the blue line, so I think I'll be making a trip!
     
  9. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Best advice: Don't try.

    Yes, it can be done, but to get good results takes a lot of planning and experience. Total eclipses aren't condusive to first-time attempts. And this being an annular eclipse, it means the sun will not be totally covered by the moon's disk. So there's the change you can mess up your sensor or your eyesight.

    Experiencing a total solar is, for most people, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. At best, the maximum time at the coast will be 1 minute and 26 seconds. Personally, I'd rather experience it than try to take photos and miss the whole thing.

    FWIW, get a book called Totality: Eclipses of the Sun by Mark Littmann, Ken Willcox and Fred Espenak.... a very good read on the subject. There's a chapter about photographing eclipses in it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  10. LittleMike

    LittleMike No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thought I'd revive the thread as it gets closer. I'm probably going to be heading to White Pockets in South Coyote Buttes, Arizona, for the eclipse. I figure it's a good enough excuse to get out in the middle of nowhere and experience a celestial event with otherworldly landscapes! Dead center of the eclipse will be about 2 miles north of that location. Anyone want to join?
     
  11. rdubb1031

    rdubb1031 TPF Noob!

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    I'm going to make the attempt here in Denver.. would love to know if I can get a shot of the eclipse with my Jeep in the view as well? not a directly photo of the eclipse, but more of a landscape... let me know...
     
  12. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    In Michigan I'm MUCH too far from the eclipse to be able to see any of it (I think the moon just nips a bit of the sun's disk as the sun sets.) Sadly, no eclipse for me.

    I'm making up for it though. I'm flying to Hawaii to watch the full Transit of Venus (takes place June 5th). The continental US only sees about half of it (it takes about 6-1/2 hours for the full event). You have to be in the middle of the Pacific ocean or farther west to see it all. I'll have two telescopes with me. One has a solar filter (sun appears as an orange disk -- mostly featureless except for sunspots) and the other is a narrowband Ha solar telescope (you see the solar surface in amazing detail.) I do plan to take lots of photos to document the progress and make my small contribution to science (a Transit of Venus can be used to calculate the Earth's distance Venus, the Sun, and ultimately every other object in the solar system.)
     

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