Solar Eclipse | Test Photos

I had some fun this morning. I got up at 5 am to look for some Orionid meteors. I saw one unimpressive short streak.

Just before 6 am, I noticed the Moon rising above the roofline of the house across the street. I set up my older model video camera which has a 35x optical zoom, much more than the 6x on my digital camera. The video optics are not as good. But, I can get a bigger image with that zoom.

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Auto-exposure by the video camera shows subtle earthshine

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Manual reduction reduced exposure of crescent

I also wanted to prepare and practice for the solar eclipse coming Thursday late afternoon. Details of the eclipse are in this previous post. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the practice will be for naught. If it does cooperate, I want to be ready.

Using the same video camera as above for the Moon shots, I covered the lens with a safe eclipse-viewing filter and zoomed in. It captured a rather large sunspot just left of center which was interesting. The noise and patterns you might notice in the photo are from the camera, not the Sun.

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Video camera image with color removed and noise reduction

NASA has a great spacecraft called Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) which views the Sun in multiple wavelengths and gathers frequent images. My post on SDO. I visited their site right after I captured my own image above. It shows the sunspot I saw and some additional small ones. I think I can just make out the small one on the right side of my image.

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NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory


If the eclipse is viewable this coming Thursday, the Moon will cover about 55% of the Sun at my location. I will try to capture the event with my simple equipment and share it with you.

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16 thoughts on “Solar Eclipse | Test Photos

  1. That is one monster sunspot!
    The moonrise was fantastic this morning, nice job of capturing it. I’m looking forward to your images of the eclipse, and wishing you clear skies!

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  2. This morning (22nd) the crescent is even narrower and the earthshine is evident through 10X binoculars. I first saw it at about 6:20 a.m. CDST and it is still visible although the sky is brightening.

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  3. I’m keeping my fingers that it won’t be cloudy at the time of the eclipse. I have a vague memory of poking a hole in an index card and then holding it over another index card to see the shadow of a solar eclipse when I was a child. I am thinking about trying it again.

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