[AZ-Observing] Re: Annular Eclipse

  • From: "Wayne (aka Mr. Galaxy)" <mrgalaxy@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: amastro@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, kj4483@xxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 23 May 2012 02:36:01 GMT

Benson, AZ 85602
hm ph: 520-586-2244 Actually those are pretty decent images, Darrell, much 
better than the few I got. If possible, I wouldn't mind seeing those set up as 
a gif movie. Stan, I don't know how you expected to see any of the eclipse from 
your area. On the way north when we went past the Prescott exits off I-17 the 
skies were filled with smoke and the smell of the fire was nearly overwhelming. 
It was only marginally better on the way back home. I just got back from our 
eclipse trip to Page, AZ, ride-sharing (thanks Dave and Gloria Butler!) with 
several fellow members of the Huachuca Astronomy Club (HAC) from the town of 
Sierra Vista, AZ. It's been a very long time since I've been up to that part of 
northern AZ, but Page and Lake Powell is a nice area with lots of scenic 
vistas. We were there for a couple days and I wasn't thinking much beyond 
eclipse activities (some nice talks and star parties planned by the National 
Parks Service and manned by a number of amateur astronomy volunteers) or else I 
would have done some touring of the local environs. A few of our fellow 
travelers were more on the ball and took tours of the local slot canyons and 
boat tours. Fortunately, on our way up to Page, we did stop off at one of the 
vistas of the Colorado River and enjoyed it very much.   The eclipse was very 
interesting to witness and there were about 3-400 people enjoying the spectacle 
with us. The weather was very pleasant and we were far enough away from the big 
fires in Arizona so that we weren't bothered by any smoke. The folks from Lunt 
Instruments had a nice 152mm apo-refractor with one of their H-alpha filters 
incorporated into the telescope. I noted very nice views of surface detail on 
the solar disk and a nice loop prominence along with several other prominences 
around the perimeter.  There were at least 50 observers with cameras and 
telescopes scattered around the Wahweap Outlook which was one of the areas 
monitored by the Parks Service to keep the crowds semi-controlled. It seemed to 
work. Buses from the visitor center brought about 5 loads of passengers up to 
the site well before annularity. I was concerned the buses would be operating 
during the event and raising a lot of dust, but they stopped running about half 
an hour before annularity, much to the chagrin of a group of teenagers who 
thought they would leave early. They actually stuck around and seemed to enjoy 
the spectacle, but they were on the first bus to leave. I brought a pair of 
20x100 binoculars to view the annular and I'm glad I did. I had to make a pair 
of 3.5-inch solar filters at close to the last moment since the filters I 
ordered from Thousand Oaks weren't delivered in time and it looks like they 
won't even make it for the Venus Transit. Thanks to John Gross for giving me 
some of his film and thanks to those who offered me some of theirs. The view 
was excellent and I had great white light views of the number of sunspot groups 
visible on the surface and watched as the moon occulted each one. I had enough 
magnification to be able to see the edge of the Moon's irregularities which was 
to be important at the 2nd and 4th contacts when the Baily's Beads phenomenon 
would manifest itself. Of course, since I needed to leave the filters in place 
the Beads appeared as fine brushes as the lunar and solar surfaces interacted. 
It's a quick phenomenon and I wasn't able to record it, but I wasn't really set 
up for photography. I held my little Kodak (supposedly) Easy Share camera 
behind the eyepiece and surprisingly got a few decent shots when there wasn't 
any time pressure. The buses started taking the impatient teenagers and others 
back to the visitor's center and we left around 7:15pm as the sun was setting 
and the moon had mostly departed the sun's surface. As we were driving into 
Page we noticed that the partially eclipsed sun was disappearing behind a 
mountain ridge and pulled off the road to witness the sunset. We thought it 
looked like a shark fin - a very cool sight! One thing to note about Page, 
though, is that the town rolls up its sidewalks at 7pm and we had to settle for 
a Mexican restaurant, not our first choice, but, fortunately, the food was 
pretty good. I was happy with our eclipse trip even though it was "only" an 
annular. We had a good group to travel with, the weather was perfect, and no 
equipment failure. What more can you ask for? Anyway, now it's time to get 
ready for the Venus transit. Let's hope for similar results!
Clear skies, 
Wayne (aka Mr. Galaxy)
---------- Original Message ----------
From: "Spencer, Darrell" <DSpencer@xxxxxxx>
To: "az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [AZ-Observing] Re: Annular Eclipse
Date: Mon, 21 May 2012 05:33:23 +0000

Hi Stan,

Don't feel bad.  I had big plans for this eclipse.  A bunch of us were planning 
to be under the optimal path of totality (if annular), but plans fell apart 
(one reason being I'm relocating in metro Phoenix) at the end of the month.  I 
am up to my eyeballs in boxes and needed the weekend.

But, I managed to get out to a nearby park (in North Phoenix) with a decent 
western horizon.  On a whim, I took along an 80mm f11 Vixen achromat with a 
Baader filter and my Canon 30D.  I managed to get a decent series of the event 
as seen from North Phoenix in simple white light.   As the Sun neared the 
horizon, smoke from the Gladiator fire began to intrude somewhat.

I have some processing to do, but have uploaded raw, reduced images at the link 
below.  Unfortunately, the images were posted backwards, i.e. sunset first - 
then backwards through time.


I plan to put together a correctly oriented, sized and exposure-compensated 
time-lapse.  Polakis, I ain't, but it'll be fun.

Darrell Spencer

From: az-observing-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [az-observing-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] on 
behalf of Stan Gorodenski [stanlep@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Sunday, May 20, 2012 10:17 PM
To: AZ-Observing
Subject: [AZ-Observing] Annular Eclipse

I drove 90 miles north, by road miles, to a location 10 miles north of
I-40 just off hwy 64 on the way to the Grand Canyon. It was a waste of
gas money and time. My calculations were off. I thought I would be able
to see the moon just barely be entirely within the Sun, but it wasn't. I
should have stayed in Dewey. However, there were some positives. This is
the first time I have had my 5" Explore Scientific refractor on a trip
and everything went good. Also, the sky in Dewey was very white because
of the Gladiator fire and it was very windy in Dewey. At the 10 mile
north location the sky had improved considerably and actually looked
blue. Also, it was not windy. At 6:18pm a jet flew across the Sun. That
was interesting. I observed with the Lunt wedge and observed a number of
areas with faculae that did not appear to be associated with sunspots.
The entire sun fit in my field of view with the 16mm eyepiece (60
magnification), but near maximum I switched to my 26.6mm eyepiece (36
magnification). This was an improvement. I was able to see the edge of
the moon better.

That's about all.
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