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ASE 15 January 2010

- observations reports and pictures (click on images for a better view).

Rosoni - 16mm view of sky and eclipse
Rosoni - close up of annular

Stefano Rosoni observed the annular eclipse in the Maldives on the island of Hulhule near the international airport just four degrees above the equator. Clouds blocked the view during the annular phase of the eclipse with only glimpses visible through the thinner sections.

The image at left shows the sky during the eclipse. Click on it to see a larger version where you can see the eclipsed sun in the cloud cover. To achieve the bottom image Stefano attached a 1000mm lens with a 2x teleconverter to his Canon 20D. The image size exceeded the frame but he still managed to get a great shot of the annular phase underway from a very elegant location as seen below.

Rosoni - chilling at the cafe

Glintborg image 1

Glintborg 2
Henrik Glintborg from Corona Adventure reports: Our Danish group had a very successful eclipse, observed from a mountain (about 6500 feet over sea level) overlooking Lake Nakuru in Kenya with thousands of pink flamingos. During annularity the sun was a bit obscured for a few minutes, which allowed us to observe the eclipse without any protection - just perfect for some very nice eclipse pictures with clouds adding a very dramatic - and very beautiful! - effect!

Terry Cuttle atop Mt KenyaTerry Cuttle of Brisbane Australia reports: Brilliantly clear skies for the ASE observed from the Point Lenana summit of Mt Kenya at 4,985m. Reports indicated cloud and at times rain and snow on the summit of Mt Kenya during the three days preceding the ASE. However on the pre dawn final ascent to the summit, the sky was brilliantly clear and dark (background sky brightness 21.7mag/sq arc sec). Sunrise at 06:30 from the summit was stunning with the sun rising through a surrounding cloud layer that appeared to be at about 3,000m. The sky above remained completely cloud free and crystal clear for the duration of the ASE. The clarity was like the view from an aircraft without the intervening window and movement. About 50 people were at the summit for the ASE with perhaps half that there especially for the eclipse, many ofTerry Cuttle those being first timers. An incredible location to experience an ASE only 17km from the equator, at -3 deg C (plus significant wind chill) surrounded by the peaks and glaciers of Mt Kenya. Summit day was exhausting with a 21km trek which included an 800m vertical ascent and 1,700m descent, but absolutely worth the effort. It was clear from the view from the summit that there was cloud over much of Kenya at eclipse time especially to the east.

SWAN collection of images
Composite image generated by Debasis Sarkar of SWAN, Sky Watchers' Association of North Bengal (www.skywatchersindia.com ). The telescope used was an Orion 120mm refractor fitted with Nikon D50 on motorized EQ5. Controlled via the Nikon Capture Control V.4 installed on a Dell Inspiron 6000. (Download the huge version 2.7mb) The SWAN group of 13 observed the ASE from Rameswaram, India. The location was rooftop of a Guest house facing Sea in East. Sunrise on 15th was not visible due to thick clouds. It started clearing by 9 AM. (3:30 UT) By 11 AM, things were almost cleared with a thin Cyrus layer that persisted almost till C2.
Stephan Heinsius reports: I observed the annular solar eclipse on 15th January 2010 on Ellaidhoo (Maldives). Clouds were moving in from the east during annularity. The last 4 minutes of annularity were lost, but the others could be experienced with increased beauty. The eclipse was filtered by the clouds and many people were happy to see the ring they'd otherwise not have seen.

Thin partial in clouds
Moon just inside the solar ring
Ring of fire between the palm trees
Partial in clouds, no filter

More photos and report (auf Deutsch)

Stephan Krause
Third contact in the Maldives - click here to visit Stephan Krause's web site.
Thomas Goodey
Thomas Goodey supplied this image taken with a small Sony camcorder at the eyepiece of a telescope in the Maldives.

boothee composite image boothee thaik htun, an amateur astronomer traveled to Shwe Bo City, Myanmar and provided this excellent composite of the eclipse.

boothee reports: On the 14th Jan, 2010, there were many clouds blocking the sky of Mandalay. Luckily, the weather was fine and cloud free on the 15th Jan, 2010. So we had a really nice view. I used the following equipment. Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Lens: Canon EF 35~350mm f-3.5~5.6 L USM + 2x Converter, Accessories: Used Thousand Oak Solar Filter, Canon Remote Controller, Canon EOS Utilities to capture automatically. Mount used: EQ5 with DK3 motors & controller

Dimitri's composite image
Dimitri Rotstein's combined image of the 11% solar eclipse as seen in Haifa Israel with the partial lunar eclipse two weeks earlier.

Hannah

Hannah Conduct

Hannah Conduct viewed the annular eclipse from the roof of the physics building at the University of Nairobi in Kenya under cloudy conditions.

Hannah ConductIn the first image, near mid eclipse, note that the moon is not exactly centered in the sun. The reason is because Nairobi was not near the center of the umbral path but about half way towards the edge.

Camera was a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18.

Michael Gill
C90 with Thousand Oaks filter
Michael Gill


Eclipse shadows in the palms.
Michael Gill
Image 2
Image 3

Michael Gill reports: I observed the annular eclipse from the only resort on the small (approx. 1.2km x 0.5km) island of Meerufenfushi in the North Male Atoll, Republic of Maldives. I set up my tripod and C90 telescope at 4.4548 N 73.7154 E on the island's western side to avoid problems with breezes and waited out a long 2hr 5m interval between first and second contacts. Indeed, the whole event lasted over 4 hours, combination of the latitude of the observing site and the slow motion of the Moon around apogee.

A small crowd of multi-national holiday makers and resort staff gathered around me, some with (considerable) prior knowledge of the event (it seems that someone's eclipse outreach efforts made a difference); others knew very little about the eclipse or astronomy but were delighted with views of the spectacle that I and a French guest at the resort observing with me were able to provide them with.

Prior to annularity there were occasional cloud interruptions, but happily the whole of annularity was seen without problems.

Annular Time: 10m 49s

Paul D. Maley reports: Our RING OF FIRE EXPEDITION set up three teams and all were successful in observing the ASE in Uganda. The center line team was 2km north of the center (10km from Luweero), while a second team was 40km north of center near Nakatoma. The 3rd science team observed Baily's Beads from the northern limit at Gulu from two sites 1km apart at 3.5 and 4.5km north of the southern edge of the north limit line. Both sites videotaped the beads for just under 1m14s.

Ajay & Neelam Talwar, Nilesh Vayada, Sneh Kesari, Raghu Kalra & Deepak Dogra Arjune & Nakul report from India (group photo):

Location, Location Location, an old quote by William Dillard refers to the three things you should look for when buying a property, building a hotel etc. The quote is very pertinent for solar eclipses too, and capturing the maximum number of Baily's Beads.

The Annular Solar Eclipse of 15th January 2010, the longest Annular of the third Millennium. It is a record holder eclipse BUT this eclipse has been referred to as a glorified partial eclipse, or a central partial eclipse. As compared the to multifarious events happening in a Total Solar Eclipse, nothing dramatic was going to happen in this eclipse. The Moon would pass in front of the Sun slowly and quietly not making much of a fuss.

India has not seen an Annular since 1965, 44 years. Amateurs Astronomers across India thought of going to Rameshwaram, Kanya Kumari and Thiruvananthapuram to photograph the eclipse JFR. (Just for the record) with filters safely on the instruments throughout the eclipse.

Some of us thought that precise location of the observation site could increase the excitement and make this mundane eclipse a more dramatic one. Using Occult software we simulated the bead formation from several places just inside the northern limit of the anti umbral path. In fact someone observing from the northern edge or even 3 kms inside the northern edge would have ended up seeing a partial eclipse because of the presence of a high lunar mountain. It did help a lot that Occult software was updated with Kaguya Satellite - Lunar Data just before the eclipse.

We ended up selecting Varkala, Kerala as our observing spot. Some of the reasons of finalizing Varkala were:

1. There is a 25 meter high cliff at Varkala, next to the sea beach.
2. Plenty of hotels, from cheap to expensive to select from, and with open terraces, being a tourist village.
3. We can see the sea and capture the time lapse sequence over the sea horizon
4. Plenty of beads to be seen from this location on 2nd contact as well as 3rd contact, with about a minute of annularity in between.
5. Bead formation would be slow and steady, giving us enough time to capture.
6. Chromosphere can be seen here at leisure, not just as a moment's flash
7. We thought we might photograph inner corona if the sky happens to be exceptionally clear (absence of scattering of sunlight by haze, clouds, dust etc.)
8. IF THERE ARE any prominences on the same place where contacts are occurring.......

We hit base on all counts except corona, as there was slight haze and humidity scattered all over the sky, making it whitish blue, instead of deep blue.

We also boldly thought that removing the filter was also an option if:
1. If we use a very long focal length, thereby reducing the field of view.
2. If we have a large focal ratio to reduce the intensity of the sun so that no equipment burns.
3. If we use a DSLR camera with a mirror inside to send the light away from the camera shutter.
4. If we do not look through the finder.

This was the instrument train used to capture Baily's Beads and Corona without a filter.
1. Meade 8" SCT, f/10, f.l. 2000mm, Altazimuth mount precisely aligned with Zenith
2. Diagonal Mirror 2" dia
3. 2X Televue Powermate 2" dia, f/20, f.l. 4000mm
4. Canon 450D fov = 19" X 13", approx 2/3 of Sun on the larger side
5. DSLR connected to laptop running Eclipse Orchestrator
6. Pointing to the correct part of the sun made possible with a webcamera attached to 400mm telescope piggybacked on the same telescope, aligned perfectly with the main telescope.

Some of the results are here. The album will be complete in a day or two. The album has been made to look like a presentation, with the setup photo and subsequently the result, with video linked elsewhere (on youtube)

The videos are here
1. Scattered eclipse moving across the sky:

2. A video made out of photographs taken with a 400mm Nikon D90, which was briefly removed off the filter

3. A real time video shot with a webcamera and 400mm telescope containing time beeps as well as the ambient sounds during the eclipse is here

Hope you like the results of our rehearsals and efforts during this Indian Annular.


 

 
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