'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

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'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#1  Postby AlohaChris » Apr 19, 2012 1:41 am

The annular solar eclipse of May 20-21, 2012 begins over southeast China and passes over Japan. When the eclipse crosses the International Date Line, the local date becomes May 20. The eclipse then enters the California/Oregon border, passes in the late afternoon over Nevada, Utah, Arizona, a corner of Colorado, New Mexico, and ends at sunset in Texas.

An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is at apogee, making the Moon’s apparent disk smaller than the Sun’s disk and the Sun appears as a brilliant ring.

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The weather prospects are good! It's gonna be awesome! :dance:

I've booked a hotel room and my family and I are going to watch from Bryce Canyon National Park. Here's a map for the eclipse over the South Western United States: http://xjubier.free.fr/site_images/ASE_2012/ASE_2012_Southwestern_USA.png

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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#2  Postby rEvolutionist » Apr 19, 2012 2:34 am

Won't the world end or something like that? Surely this is a sign, no?
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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#3  Postby rEvolutionist » Apr 19, 2012 2:37 am

By the way, lucky it's not a granular eclipse. That would meant the moon would have holes in it. There'd be problems with that...
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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#4  Postby AlohaChris » Apr 19, 2012 2:56 am

rEvolutionist wrote:Won't the world end or something like that? Surely this is a sign, no?



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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#5  Postby rEvolutionist » Apr 19, 2012 2:58 am

Silly Aloha... that's just a giant flaming vagina.


:grin:
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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#6  Postby AlohaChris » Apr 19, 2012 3:09 am

Any of you Astronomy-savvy types know what type of solar filters are safe? They range from $$ - $$$, I'm wondering if the commercial $50-80 ones are safe for a small Dob?
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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#7  Postby rEvolutionist » Apr 19, 2012 3:20 am

There's a safer method, Aloha... Just squint. It works wonders! :thumbup:


(sorry to be constantly taking the piss, but I know you've got a good sense of humour. But in all truth, I am absolutely fascinated by these events too. I only wish it was tracking over Australia :( ).
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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#8  Postby Onyx8 » Apr 19, 2012 3:56 am

Wow, Bryce Canyon and an eclipse.

Envy.
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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#9  Postby rEvolutionist » Apr 19, 2012 3:57 am

Yeah. Take some camera equipment!
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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#10  Postby AlohaChris » Apr 19, 2012 4:21 am

Definitely.
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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#11  Postby rEvolutionist » Apr 19, 2012 4:24 am

If you get around to it, you should post some pics in this thread after the event.
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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#12  Postby AlohaChris » May 20, 2012 8:20 pm

rEvolutionist wrote:If you get around to it, you should post some pics in this thread after the event.


Today's the day. :dance: Just five hours to go. Unfortunately, Bryce Canyon turned out to be undoable for us :waah: but we're going to watch from Zion Nat. Park's Kolob Canyon in Kanarraville, which is actually on the ecliptic line, which will give us perfect annularity.

Eclipse viewing glasses are sold out everywhere! I just sold two extra pairs I had for $30 a piece. Note to those in Oz for the upcoming total: stock up on glasses, sell to the unprepared for a premium! :grin:

I'll try to post pics as it happens, if I can. Will I cook my camera if I take a pic at totality?
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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#13  Postby AlohaChris » May 20, 2012 9:49 pm

Test pic from my camera with the eclipse glasses over the lens...

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:think:
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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#14  Postby Weaver » May 20, 2012 10:33 pm

Annular eclipses are hard with improvised equipment like small cameras - the amount of sunlight just overwhelms the central shadow.
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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#15  Postby klazmon » May 20, 2012 11:16 pm

AlohaChris wrote:Any of you Astronomy-savvy types know what type of solar filters are safe? They range from $$ - $$$, I'm wondering if the commercial $50-80 ones are safe for a small Dob?



Baader Planetarium in Germany sell solar filter material by the sheet. You make your own cell. There are also retailers that sell the Baader filter material in pre made full aperture cells. Before using any solar filter, check for damage, pinholing etc. Also make sure that the cell is securely fitted to your scope. A gust of wind blowing it off would be disaster.

You can often get a better view via unfiltered eyepiece projection onto a screen, just be aware that you will get a lot of heat around the focal plane which can be detrimental to your eyepiece - especially if there are any plastic parts. With projection, several people can view at once. Generally a low power 2" eyepiece will deal with the heat better than a 1 1/4 one. Also eyepieces with cemented elements should be avoided as they are likely to be ruined. You should be fine though unless you are talking a large aperture scope (not recommended unless stopped down).


PS. Beware of your finder. It will need its own filter or otherwise securely cap it, or even better remove it. Don't leave your solar scope unattended, especially if there are children around.
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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#16  Postby AlohaChris » May 21, 2012 12:50 am

First contact... :dance:

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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#17  Postby AlohaChris » May 21, 2012 1:00 am

About 1/3rd now. Temperature just dropped about 5 degrees, wind starting to blow. Can't take a shot of the sun, camera's about worthless. :(
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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#18  Postby AlohaChris » May 21, 2012 1:27 am

YES! I figured out a way to trick the camera! All kinds of freaky shadow prism effects coming out! Ring of fire in 5 minutes...
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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#19  Postby Matt8819 » May 21, 2012 1:45 am

If you don't have access to a solar filter and don't want to take pictures, welding masks are almost perfect for this. It was only a partial here in Edmonton, got about 1/3 coverage at peak.
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Re: 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012

#20  Postby Weaver » May 21, 2012 2:05 am

If you're going to use welding glass, ensure it is #14 or better - there are plenty of lighter welding glasses which appear "dark" but do not provide adequate protection against the Sun.

The good news is, any time you go to a welding supply house and ask for #14 glass, they'll usually know right away that you're doing solar observation with it.
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