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Archive for September 1st, 2017

Monthly Science: Solar Eclipse 2017

An hour before the festivities started, I lashed together an official NASA-approved pinhole eclipse viewer from available materials:

Eclipse 2017-08-21 - pinhole projector

Eclipse 2017-08-21 – pinhole projector

Although the solar disk showed up fine on the white paper screen, the Pixel’s camera can’t show the notch growing on the left side, even with HDR+ mode in full effect:

Eclipse 2017-08-21 - pinhole projector - interior

Eclipse 2017-08-21 – pinhole projector – interior

As usual for astronomy around here, clouds threatened the outcome:

Eclipse 2017-08-21 - high clouds

Eclipse 2017-08-21 – high clouds

Near the maximum, the skies cleared:

Eclipse 2017-08-21 - maximum - lens flare

Eclipse 2017-08-21 – maximum – lens flare

Although it’s not proof, there’s a definite bite out of the lens flare at about 4 o’clock:

Eclipse 2017-08-21 - maximum - lens flare - detail

Eclipse 2017-08-21 – maximum – lens flare – detail

The maples south of the driveway produced lower-contrast images better suited to silicon sensors:

Eclipse 2017-08-21 - maximum - shadows

Eclipse 2017-08-21 – maximum – shadows

And, although everyone was specifically enjoined not to do this, because UV reflection = blindness, the obligatory solar eclipse selfie:

Eclipse 2017-08-21 - obligatory selfie

Eclipse 2017-08-21 – obligatory selfie

I’m sure similar lens flares count as UFOs in someone’s telling of the tale.

We planned to dance naked in the yard, but our neighbor’s lawn crew picked that moment to scalp his grass and we chose discretion over valor …

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