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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Astronomy & Celestial Talk
Thread started 22 Aug 2016 (Monday) 22:24
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August, 2017 Total solar eclipse. Too soon to start planning?

 
Sailor ­ Larry
Member
Joined Nov 2014
Oklahoma
Aug 22, 2016 22:24 |  #1

Something to start thinking about. I've been under several partials but never seen a total.
I'm only a few hundred miles south of the path of totality. might have to make a trip.




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Celestron
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Texas USA
Post has been edited over 1 year ago by Celestron.
Aug 23, 2016 06:17 |  #2

It would be a once in a lifetime chance to see and image. Yes it would be worth it .




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Sailor ­ Larry
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
Joined Nov 2014
Oklahoma
Aug 23, 2016 09:02 |  #3

With my luck though the place I went would be the only 5 mile radius in the US with a total cloud cover :) that day.




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gjl711
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Aug 23, 2016 09:29 |  #4

Sailor Larry wrote in post #18103601 (external link)
With my luck though the place I went would be the only 5 mile radius in the US with a total cloud cover :) that day.

That's the one thing you can't predict. The path is known but the weather is one thing no one can predict a day or two in advance much less a year. You know how storms can pop up in August sometime within minutes. Maybe farther west in the mountains?


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SteveInNZ
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Auckland, New Zealand
Aug 23, 2016 15:51 |  #5

Too soon ? We booked our accommodation for it last February. You'll be hard pressed to find anything within the path now.
If you have the opportunity to see it, I strongly recommend doing so. It's something that you'll never forget but there is a high risk of addiction.
Don't worry about clouds. Our first three were clouded out and it's still an experience when it's cloudy. You notice things like the shadow racing towards you and the 360 degree sunset. Besides, if you are in the path of the shadow you have a chance of at least glimpsing the eclipsed Sun. If you're not there, you have a 100% chance of not seeing it.

Steve.


"Treat every photon with respect" - David Malin.

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Archibald
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Calgary
Aug 23, 2016 16:31 |  #6

SteveInNZ wrote in post #18103949 (external link)
Too soon ? We booked our accommodation for it last February. You'll be hard pressed to find anything within the path now.
If you have the opportunity to see it, I strongly recommend doing so. It's something that you'll never forget but there is a high risk of addiction.
Don't worry about clouds. Our first three were clouded out and it's still an experience when it's cloudy. You notice things like the shadow racing towards you and the 360 degree sunset. Besides, if you are in the path of the shadow you have a chance of at least glimpsing the eclipsed Sun. If you're not there, you have a 100% chance of not seeing it.

Steve.

I was there and had 100% chance of not seeing it (N Florida, March 1971). (Clouds.)


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ct1co2
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Post has been edited over 1 year ago by ct1co2.
Aug 23, 2016 22:00 |  #7

I was able to reserve a hotel in North Platte NE for that Sunday if west/cntrl NE is the play. If it turns out ern WY is it, can cancel the hotel and make an easy 3-4hr drive from home in CO that morning to position. Either way will be planning on a location between Casper WY and North Platte depending on weather. Already have about 5 specific locations planned as possibilities.


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Sailor ­ Larry
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Member
Joined Nov 2014
Oklahoma
Aug 24, 2016 02:34 |  #8

Most of the path through Missouri is less than 5 hours from home, so day trip.




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Luxx
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Aug 24, 2016 04:38 |  #9

Ok, so if I'm close to the path,,,St. Louis. What else do I need?




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MalVeauX
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Aug 24, 2016 05:16 |  #10

Heya,

Yup, I'm taking the day off a year in advance from work so that I can view it and image it, weather permitting.

Never too early to plan!

I shoot the sun with a solar filter here and there as practice so that I'm not fiddling when the eclipse is happening.

Very best,


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TCampbell
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Aug 24, 2016 10:35 |  #11

MalVeauX wrote in post #18104463 (external link)
Heya,

Yup, I'm taking the day off a year in advance from work so that I can view it and image it, weather permitting.

Never too early to plan!

I shoot the sun with a solar filter here and there as practice so that I'm not fiddling when the eclipse is happening.

Very best,

I'm going to have to take at least a week off. I'm about a good days drive from the line of totality. I plan to drive in and arrive several days in advance, then drive out the day after.

There are a couple of good guides you might want to pick up:

1) Road Atlas for the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 by Fred Espenak provides detailed maps of the states that are in the eclipse path of totality and also show the time of the eclipse and duration of totality for each spot. You can use it to identify good locations, try to find hotels (good luck) or campgrounds. There is not much extra info in this book -- it mostly is just a detailed atlas.

2) Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 August 21 is by Fred Espenak and Jay Anderson. This book has maps (like the book above) but they aren't quite as detailed. But it does have a lot of extra info... travel info, climate info (what's the probability that it will be clear vs. cloudy in that location), and this book actually DOES have a section on how to photograph an eclipse -- including data (and graphics) indicating roughly how much larger the solar corona will be vs. the size of the sun and they provide samples for various full-frame & APS-C with different focal length lenses.

Fred Espenak (the author of both) is a retired NASA physicist, but is well known in astronomy communities for his solar and lunar eclipse predictions. He's known by the name "Mr. Eclipse" and has a website at MrEclipse.com.

3) Total Solar Eclipse 2017 by Marc Nussbaum has a few maps near the back of the book - not anything in comparison to the above two books. But it does have a ton of other useful info, including a much much larger section on photographing an eclipse (incidentally... due to the constantly changing light conditions, the author suggests bracketing if your camera has an automatic bracketing feature (often labeled as the HDR feature but some cameras have a setting to keep all original exposures and not just the combined HDR final exposure.)

With all of this in mind... I can tell you I have other books that suggest that you should NOT attempt to photograph your first total solar eclipse. They explain that there's so much going on, and so much excitement with things you will have never experienced in your life before, that you don't want to have your head buried in a piece of equipment and miss out on the event. So I'll throw that in for "what it's worth" but expect that a community of photographers probably plan to ignore that advice (myself included).

However, I do plan to put the camera and lens on a tracking head, use an intervalometer to just keep the camera shooting throughout the event, and that way I can enjoy the event while my camera and tracker do all the work. For fear that people will walk in front of the camera, I'll probably set the tripod height rather high.

WELL IN ADVANCE:

1) Now: Pick a location & get reservations (or you may end up camping in a parking lot)
2) Soon: Order solar filters for whatever lens(es) you plan to use.
3) Soon: Get some solar viewers for your eyes (looks like cardboard foldable "sunglasses" with appropriate safe solar film -- or sometime just a little rectangular piece of cardboard with the solar film in it the you hold in front of your eyes.)

I would suggest having those filters a good 6 months or so in advance of the eclipse.

Every year there are numerous cases of people who suffer injury to their eyes because they stared at it for much too long with inappropriate protection.

To be "safe" the filter has to eliminate 99.996% (or more) of the Sun's energy and this includes BOTH visible spectrum light AND infrared light (the sun pumps out nearly as much in the IR and we can't see that ... a filter that blocks only visible will still end up letting your eyes get injured because it didn't block IR too.)

Most solar filters block 99.999% (about 1 photon out of every 100,000 can make it through the filter).

Welding goggles used to be safe once upon a time when they were actually made out of smoked glass (and it blocked everything). Today they're made out of polymers, come in various optical densities, and often only block the wavelengths of the particular welding equipment rather than full-spectrum block. It turns I think there is actually ONE type of welding goggle that's safe, but as I don't know which one it is and I don't want anyone to go blind... my strong recommendation is that you ONLY use something designed for looking at the Sun. If you buy the filters early, they are really cheap (a few dollars.)

If you wait until within a few months of the eclipse to buy filters, you may find you can't even get them. This happened at the Transit of Venus back in 2012 when became almost impossible to find the filters a month before the event and if you could find them ... let's just say they had "opportunistic" price tags and leave it at that. (buy it now so it's easy to get and cheap.)

Here are some filter vendors:
Thousand Oaks Optical: http://thousandoaksopt​ical.com (external link)
Kendrick Astro products: http://www.kendrickast​ro.com (external link)
Baader Planetarium: http://baader-planetarium.com (external link)
AstroZap: https://www.astrozap.c​om (external link)
AstroSolar: http://astrosolar.com/​en/ (external link)

Most filters fit over the front of the lens like a cap -- and don't have threads that screw in (like traditional camera lens filters). This means usually you measure the outer diameter of the lens and order something that's just barely bigger.

While most solar filters tend to look almost like a sheet of aluminum foil (they are silvery and shiny like a mirror), there are also filter materials that are dark black. You can get materials that are a mylar-type material or glass. Thousand Oaks suggests going with the black polymer if you plan to use it for a camera because that particular material will have the least internal reflections so you shouldn't have "ghosting" in your images. The silvery mirror-like material can cause ghosting.

All of these filters provide a view of the Sun's photosphere. You would see sunspots (if magnified -- you probably will not see them without magnification. Only once have I ever seen a sunspot large enough to be visible through solar filters without any magnification.) You will, of course, see the moon taking the "bite" out of the sun. You will not see things like prominences, filaments, etc. Those features are in the chromosphere and require narrowband telescopes such as Hydrogen alpha solar telescopes (specialty equipment designed the exclusive purpose of viewing the sun. Lunt Solar Systems, Coronado (owned by Meade), and Daystar all make telescopes for that.)

You do not need a filter during totality... only before or after.




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SteveInNZ
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Auckland, New Zealand
Aug 24, 2016 16:02 |  #12

If they are there, you will see prominences during totality.

Steve.


"Treat every photon with respect" - David Malin.

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TCampbell
Senior Member
Joined Apr 2012
Aug 24, 2016 16:42 |  #13

SteveInNZ wrote in post #18104963 (external link)
If they are there, you will see prominences during totality.

Steve.

During totality you can remove the filter. At that point you'll see the corona and, if they are there, you can see prominences. Yes.

My statement above was referring to using a white light solar filter (prior to or following "totality"). Prominences will not show up through a "white light" solar filter. I point this out because sometimes people will buy a solar filter and are disappointed to find out that they don't see images that show much more than sunspots.




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MalVeauX
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Joined Feb 2013
Florida
Aug 24, 2016 17:29 |  #14

I think I'll try to overall film it with one setup, and image it separately with another.

I won't have an Ha telescope or filter setup I'm sure. But, I'll white light filter it a few times and otherwise simply observe it and let it film.

Very best,


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Luxx
Senior Member
466 posts
Joined Jan 2013
St Louis
Aug 24, 2016 20:58 |  #15

If you go to dark skies will you see more stars? Or does the corona make it so it's not worth it to go to,dark skies




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August, 2017 Total solar eclipse. Too soon to start planning?
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