Friday, October 24, 2014

Partial Solar Eclipse

I was informed about a solar eclipse early afternoon on the day of.  I spent a few minutes doing research on how to shoot the sun only to find out I needed a solar filter.  Additionally, what was my eyes going to wear?  It was too late to to order anything online.  Do I even bother?

Partial Solar Eclipse - October 23, 2014
But I didn't want to miss the opportunity to see the eclipse, the last solar eclipse I remember seeing was in grade school and they provided glasses.  I was able to find a Home Depot nearby that carried welding goggles, so I run over there and paid about $13.  I drove around to find a park - although that isn't hard to find around here, Colorado has plenty of open spaces and vast views.  This park had picnic tables, so I set up my tripod and camera and put on my big goggles.

I played around with the camera settings, but I wasn't having much luck getting a picture of the sun...I guess that having that filter is kinda necessary.  When the camera actually took a picture, it was overexposed and too bright.  But I was able to get two shots where you can see the sun and I was happy (I wonder if it is because it got a little cloudy).  Hopefully I didn't ruin my camera's lens.

I continue to wait and watch the sun occasionally with my big welding glasses on.  The welding glasses were only a #5...a #14 or above is appropriate for viewing the sun, according to websites I found as I sat there thinking the sun was still blinding me.  I run to the car to grab a CD, and try to view the sun with the glasses and the CD - and shockingly it worked, I was able to see two images of the crescent shaped sun.

A little while later I notice that the sun is getting brighter and the crescent is getting larger...turns out the eclipse was a partial.  I'll be honest, I was a little disappointed it wasn't a full solar eclipse.

We will have one more solar eclipse this decade, hopefully I will be ready the next time by having a camera filter and appropriate glasses.

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