Photos: Partial solar eclipse
AVON — On Thursday, a partial solar eclipse occurred beginning around 3:20 p.m. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly between the earth and the sun. This is a partial eclipse, meaning that it will only obscure part of the sun, in this case it was about 45 percent of the sun from Avon. The greatest coverage was at about 4:40 p.m. It all ended around 5:40 p.m.
The first photo was shot at maximum. The spots in the lower part of the sun are a massive sunspot group named AR 2192, one of the largest in years. It is moving across the sun from left to right and it is about the size of Jupiter. This sunspot group has been producing an immense amount of magnetic energy. The sunspots have created some spectacular auroras over the northern poles in the last few days.
These direct photos of the eclipse were shot with a DSLR using a 400-millimeter telephoto lens with a 2X converter, the equivalent of a 1280-millimeter lens. That would be a magnification of 25 times. A specialized filter was used to block the sun and reduce the brightness. A solar filter sheet made of a black polymer covered the end of the lens set up. The exposure was 1/60, f/11 at ISO 400.
The second photo is a composite of images that were taken at 20 minute intervals. The progress of the eclipse was from left to right.
The third photo was created by using binoculars, but not to look at the sun. The binoculars were mounted and aligned to project an image onto a white card. The image projected onto the card was photographed using a standard lens. It was then flipped vertically to have the correct orientation.
During an eclipse you should never look directly at the sun, or look through a telescope, camera, or binoculars unless they have the specific filter designed for solar observations with that device.