Partial Solar Eclipse of March 20, 2015 – Part II

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I was mentioning in a previous post that I shall present soon some new images from the March 20th Partial Solar Eclipse.

Well, it’s not really soon, but better later than never…

The first new image was shot not in the usual way, meaning that due to the rather thick cloud layer, the Sun’s luminosity was greatly diminished, and it was necessary to remove the frontal solar filter of the refractor used (a 115mm F/7 APO). This should never be done without some serious thinking ahead (and risk management), since any luminosity variation (due to cloud movement across the Sun’s disk) could damage either the camera or the eye!!! But, since it was the camera that was actually seeing the Sun, I’ve gambled and won…the camera remained intact, and some shots were taken. The following is just one of them (acquired at 09:24 U.T.), where both the Sun and some clouds are visible in the same frame:

9 24 utThe above image is just a single shot, but the following one is a stack of 44 frames acquired in just one minute (at 09:29 U.T.), when the clouds did not interfered with the eclipse. A distinct sunspot group can be seen, and also some mountains/craters on the lunar limb!

09 29 UTTo better discern the lunar mountains/craters, a rotated view is presented below. Look especially at the left part of the lunar limb, where the lunar South Pole’s mountains/craters are more dramatic.

LUNAR LIMBAnd now for a brief sequence of the event, up to the maximum phase visible from the location where I was observing:

toateAgain, some of the frames were acquired through clouds, so the solar filter was removed; this is obvious for the center five frames in the above sequence.

To perhaps better understand the actual event, a more artistic view is shown below, with the Moon rotated to see which general lunar regions were near the limb during the eclipse:

COMPOSITIONAnd now for a small video made by my wife during different moments of the eclipse, using a 127mm Maksutov telescope and Canon 550D in Full HD filming mode:

My wife also shot this view at the end of our imaging session (ended by the very thick cloud layer), showing one of the instruments and the sky conditions:

pano eclipsaEven if this was not a total solar eclipse, the event, despite the clouds, was surely a memorable one.

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