Solar eclipse in southern hemisphere today

Started Nov 13, 2012 | Discussions thread
skysurfer5 Regular Member • Posts: 366
Re: Solar eclipse in southern hemisphere today

Actually, those aren't Roger's images, they're mine, but thanks anyway.

I made a couple of mistakes with this eclipse. First, I had in my head the start time for Fresno, even though I knew dead-to-rights that it started several minutes earlier in Redding. I knew this because I gave a presentation about the eclipse to my astronomy club two weeks before and had the correct times for both locations in a table in my PowerPoint. Thus, when the ranger called "one minute to first contact", I was still about three to four minutes from being ready to image. Then, in the rush to get going, I didn't nail focus as well as I should have. I had everything set up almost two hours before first contact, but NO…I had to scramble at the end to get my imaging underway. Part of the scramble was also due to having spent a lot of the intervening time with various visitors showing them the sun and sunspots in my 8", explaining the equipment I was using and what I was trying to do, showing them other astrophotos that I keep with me for public events (some are in a binder and some are mounted on foamcore, which I hung from my pop-up shelter with bungees). Also, I would have been better off shifting from a 4-sec interval to maybe a 10-sec interval. That would have cut the number of images by 60% and still would have left enough for smooth movie. When I did the Venus Transit in June, I used the same setup, but backed it off to a 15-sec interval. BYW, I used a $29 Opteka Timer Remote to trigger the exposures.

I also did a couple of things right that other club members fumbled. First, I powered my E-5 with the AC adaptor and a 26-amp-hour Xantrex 600HD. The Xantrex 600HD has an inverter and 3 AC plugs as well as a cigarette lighter plug. Taking 1900+ images was not going to fail due to inadequate power for the camera. I also had fresh D-cells to power the equatorial mount for my 5" and a smaller Xantrex 200 to power my 8". Another club members tried to do similar a time lapse sequence but he had just one fully charged camera battery. I can't remember when he lost power, but he wasn't happy with himself.  Another club member had set up a second camera with a fisheye to do an all-sky eclipse sequence, but a kid kicked his tripod early in the event. I had suggested he block access to his tripod, but he didn't take my advice. I also bailed him out because he had a brand new Canon timer remote (still in original packaging) and was quite upset when he read the directions and found out that it maxed out at 99 images. I suggested he set it to zero images because my Opteka (which maxes out at 399 images) will shoot forever when set to zero. It worked for the Canon. Finally, I had a second camera (my E-1) unencumbered by the events of the day so I could take photos of the event itself and all the scopes and people. My friends did not do the same and so have no photos other than eclipse photos.

BTW: I almost forgot, here is the timelapse I put together using every 15th image (i.e. 1-minute interval): There is more detail about the time lapse in the intro text under the video.
I also have other timelapse videos on my channel, all strictly amateur, including one from the 2006 Mercury Transit (

This video (perpared by someone else) starts at my pop-up shelter with the hanging foamcore boards, though you only get about a second before he pans away:

'Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?' …Winston S. Churchill

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