Saturday, August 26, 2017

Pic of the Day

August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse:  Hopkinsville Kentucky
15 different photos arranged to show the progression of the eclipse. The eclipse begins on the right side of the image and progresses to the left through totality and the waning partial phases.
     On August 21, 2017 my family and I were on site in Hopkinsville, Kentucky for the total solar eclipse.  This was the second total eclipse for my wife and I, and the first for my children and grandchildren.  I was fortunate to have contacted the Northwest Baptist Church a few months before the eclipse and got permission to park on their property to set up camera equipment.  The church property sets on a incline that gave a good 360º view.  It was without a doubt the best place near Hopkinsville to see the eclipse.
     I have been preparing for this eclipse most of my life.  As a young fellow I had a passion for astronomy.  I remember when I was fifteen years old and looking through a astronomy book from my high school library.  The book had a chapter on the mechanics of solar eclipses, and a chart of solar eclipses that would occur between 1950 and 2050.  At the top of the chart was a map of the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse.

Baily's Beads, August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse: Hopkinsville, Kentucky
 the last hint of the photosphere as totality begins.  This phenomenon is named in honor Francis Baily who theorized that the beads seen at the beginning of a total solar eclipse was sunlight shinning through mountains on the moon, which indeed does create Baily's Beads. 

     I remember being so excited.  The path of the future total eclipse would pass only one-hundred miles north of where I lived at the time.  My mind when into overdrive.  I immediately started thinking, "I can see that one, its close to home."  I then realized that I would be sixty-two years old in 2017 and immediately thought, "I hope I live that long."  Well, as you can imagine my thoughts on age as changed drastically since that day, and yes, I did live to see the eclipse on August 21.

Inner Solar Corona:  Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Notice the solar flares at 2:00, 3:00 and 5:00 position.  Solar flares are plasma 
being ejected from the photosphere.

     No words can express the beauty and excitement of an event like a total solar eclipse, and no photograph can capture the extent of tonal ranges of the solar corona.  It is something that must be experienced in person and seen with ones on eyes.

August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse,  Solar Corona:  Hopkinsville, Kentucky
The solar corona extends two to three times the diameter of the photosphere.  This image does not show the entire corona.  The latitude of the camera sensor cannot maintain a proper exposure from the inner corona to the out corona. 

     The photos here simply, do not even come close to what the eye can see in an eclipse.  The human eye can see a far greater range of values than a camera.  Some of the images here are single images, others are multiple images put together to give the viewer a more comprehensive view of what I saw with the naked eye. I can not stress enough, how captivating, and thrilling a total eclipse experience can be.  The next total solar eclipse in North America will occur on April 8th, 2024.  I am planning to there, and I hope you will do the same.

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Ana, It was just an amazing thing to see. You know, there are two solar eclipses coming to Spain. There is one in 2026 that is over 6 minutes long. It is in the south of Spain, with the center line of totality crossing right near the Rock of Gibraltar. The 2027 eclipse passes through the middle of Spain and it is about 2minutes and 20 seconds of totality. Start making plans. I hope to be there for at least one of them.

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