Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2009-07-22 Partial Solar Eclipse in Hong Kong

I decided to stay since the weather forecast is not too favorable. The venue for my observation is Nam Cheong playground which is around 10 minutes of walk from my home, and thus I can be more aggressive in taking more equipments.

Equipment Line up:-

1. Tele Vue Ranger with Solarmax 40 and BF10
2. DMK 31AF03.AS for H-alpha capturing, controlled by my Sony Vaio U3 (too old!!!)
3. Takahashi TG-SP II on Gitzo G106, powered by the notebook USB port!
4. SLA 12V 7aH battery
5. Konica Minolta Z5 12x zoom DC with Baader solar filter
6. Canon 450D with Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L with Thousand Oaks Type 2+ for white light
7. A couple of eclipse shade


1. ahmou
2. Johnny and family
3. My wife and her brother
4. Evelyn and her sister
5. and a couple of passerby

Data and lesson learnt:-

1. Eclipse starts at around 08:14:00 as estimated from a video clip (less accurate)
2. Eclipse ends at around 10:45:06 as estimated from another video clip
3. Should go to the venue earlier since I have to explain and talk to the passerby and thus I cannot setup my equipments as fast as I can
4. There should be a backup for battery, I have but it's only for the cameras but not for the mount this time, the 12V SLA is really running out of juice during the last 10 minutes or so.
5. My 12V 7Ah battery should be dying, I believe it has less than 4Ah capacity right now.


This is my first shot, and this is my only H-alpha shot since this scope has been so busy:-

Some selected pictures:-

Here we begin, I was too late to setup my stuff. I don't expect so much questions from passerby but I enjoyed talking to them.

Most friends arrived, it's fun to have people sharing the view and the joy.
The moon matches on:-
The wisdom of some people around the spot (街坊的智慧):-

The natural pin-holes projections:-

Another natural filter, i.e. the cloud:-
Work in progress:-
DC and eclipse shade (各施各法):-
DSLR and my Thousand Oaks (各施各法):-

The eyepiece view should be the best of all:-

Last bit of bite, see you all next time!

Video clips: they could be boring but if you know cantonese, it could be quite fun to listen how people response to the view, and also what we chat during the show:-

Bad, YouTube does not allow longer clip, anyway, here's what the clip revealed:

"First contact time was around 8:14:00 as calculated from the movie clip, the voice recorded is a funny bonus. It's good to record the response from friends and passerby."

The observation site, and the setup, and the friends. Observing with friends are so nice and the joy are multiplied:-

All the way until the end, the 12V 7Ah battery was running out of juice... it's unexpected, maybe the DMK is sucking up too much energy? The mount should be pretty energy efficient... anyway, got to prepare another battery box as back up next time.

ends at around 11:28, i.e. 10:45:06

Finally, an animated GIF:

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