Sunday, May 20, 2012

recorded partial eclipse (Blue Mountains)

Recorded video of the partial solar eclipse. Captured with the MallinCam Hyper Color via a AVerMedia PCMCIA card. Imaged through a Tele Vue 101 refractor with Coronado SolarMax hydrogen-alpha filter system. Recorded for 25 minutes and 48 seconds. Stopped Started recording at 8:17:27 PM EDT.

Full video file is yet to be processed or edited. Individual frame still image snapshots are shown below.

Someone called out that we were moments away from first contact. I started recording...

8:17 PM. The image above shows the start of video. I goofed on the video camera orientation flip settings. So the image is rotated 180 degrees. I.e. the "top" of the Sun is down. A tell-tale is that the solar disk is brighter at the bottom, less atmosphere. Some sun spots are visible. Some flares are just barely visible on the disc, particularly around the 10 o'clock position.

8:19 PM. First contact. It is barely detectable in this image, partly because of the poor framing. The Moon is beginning to enter the Sun's disc at approximately the 11 o'clock position. There's also a bit of cloud here. When I saw the Moon at the top-left, I realised I had the camera flipping set wrong.

8:20 PM. First contact clearly visible at the bottom right. I've since rotated the image into the correct orientation, up is up, left is left. More clouds visible...

8:21 PM. Clouds thickening. We started to get anxious that we might lose sight of the event.

8:32 PM. Clouds gone. Yeh! Lovely views afforded of the Sun and Moon. And detail on the surface of the Sun, to boot. By the way, the Sun is drifting in the camera due to another mistake on my part, that I forgot to implement the solar tracking rate versus normal stellar sidereal tracking in the Paramount.

8:35 PM. Sol is getting low. We're starting to see the tops of the trees in the telescope. It is somewhat eerie in the video, with motion, since the Sun's disc is effectively motionless, and these branches, like tendrils, are creeping upward, as if to grasp and absorb.

8:41 PM. It's the end of the line for the Tele Vue. The tree is obscuring much of the scene. Again, the video is interesting, seeing the leaves moving in the tree. Hot pixels also visible in the MallinCam image.

Very pleased with the results. It was good to capture the event in live video. As well as watch it through various telescopes. And again this bodes well for the transit of Venus.

I shut off tracking. We headed to the deck to enjoy the last few moments...

[ed: Original post had incorrect times. Recording started at 8:17:27 PM EDT; it didn't finish then. The eclipse was due at 8:20 and it occurred on time.]


Wikipedia link: solar eclipse.

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