|The Sun at Maximum Eclipse - 2:32 PM EDT - Note Sunspot at Lower Left|
Yesterday (August 21) millions gathered along a thin path crossing the continental United States to watch a total eclipse of the Sun. Those with favorable viewing conditions along the path of totality enjoyed an amazing sight and experience. Totality fell close enough to a west-to-east center line across the continent that at least a partial eclipse was visible to anyone with access to clear sky.
Since, with some self-doubt, I had decided not to travel to the path of totality, I organized the Hiram Eclipse Watch event. With the support of the Hiram College Physics Department, it took place on the campus of the college.
I set up two telescopes: a six-inch Meade refractor with a Baader Planetarium Safety Herschel Wedge, and a 90mm Meade refractor with a Thousand Oaks glass/metal filter. I also went equipped with my Canon EOS 50D camera, 400mm telephoto, and 2X teleconverter (>1,200mm focal length equivalent), and white light film filter. Physics staff ran a Lunt Ha scope and an experiment recording temperature and solar energy changes during the eclipse.
|Progressing Toward Maximum - Silhouette of the Moon Moves Across the Solar Disk|
Summarizing, despite last-minute worries over cloud cover, we had clear to partly-cloudy skies for the duration of our 80-percent partial eclipse. An estimated 375 visitors came out to share the experience, and by all reports had an excellent time. Some families even brought blankets and enjoyed a picnic on the lawn in the shade of old trees!
|Detail from Above - Look Along Moon's Edge and Notice Bumps: Lunar Mountains and Ridges in Silhouette|
It was very hot and fairly humid and I labored in the sunshine erecting and operating the telescopes, rationing out eclipse viewing glasses, explaining the eclipse event and solar features, and making a few photographs of my own. By the end I was dripping with sweat and very tired but had to rush home to process and upload a photograph of maximum eclipse to a newspaper.
By the end of day, I was was tired, dirty, and happy.
|The (Ravenna) Record-Courier - August 22, 2017 - Page 1|