Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Partial Solar Eclipse during Sunset

We will have partial solar eclipse during sunset in the first day of the Chinese (Lunar) New Year! Tradition thinking is that it's not a good sign, but for amateur astronomers, it's a great event indeed.

During sunset, you can see the sun without any instrument, that means you will see the eclipsed solar disc together with the scenery! That should be a great chance for photography as well.

Another exercise could be a partially eclipse solar disc in H-alpha. That should be interesting. If there is a large prominence which is first eclipsed by the moon, it will be captured in H-alpha as well! At least I never saw a similar picture or video clip myself.

For that regard, I have just tried to use a 0.5x binoviewer corrector in front of the BF10 which should reduce the size of the solar disc, and it could indeed reach focus. That setup would allow me to capture the whole solar disc with my DMK 21AU04.AS which has a smaller chip than my DMK31AF03, but it's easier to setup in the field than the 1394 model. My Borg 45ED II setup is just flexible in terms of focuser travel.

The weather forcast is not very favorable so far, but let's hope.

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