Eclipse Chaser Picture
Programmer: Bill Kramer
Last update: April 17 2015

2017 South Carolina Total Solar Eclipse Team Well we have the M. Elaine Richardson, Roy Martin, Roxanne Sassard Bernard, and Mark Thies story about the great 2017 eclipse for you... about our misadventures, and a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Elaine, Roy, and Roxanne arrived early at our Pendleton eclipse site and set up... first photo #1 below with two of our five Solar Princesses... An hour before the eclipse started Roxanne went to the restroom, stumbled on a rock [on her bad heel] and broke her wrist and a tibia bone. Elaine called me crying... Roxanne was a trooper and she told Elaine to call me and tell me to finish capturing the eclipse... as I was working 4 telescope systems by myself. [For the record this was my 6th eclipse... and not my first rodeo] I got teary when she told me what Roxanne said. EMS and Elaine took her to the Oconee emergency room, leaving Roy to work the cameras and telescope alone. He told me that he was scared for Roxanne, and had never operated the telescope equipment before, only the two cameras. We contacted the team leader for our Walhalla Eclipse Team, Solar Princess Mickey Hall, and she sent Mark Thies, Solar Princess Evanne's husband, to fight the traffic back to Pendleton to help Roy. Mark got a lesson on operating this telescope mount over the phone and dug in. After totality I called Mark and Roy... asked them how they did. Roy and Mark were disappointed because they said that when totality started, they completely lost the Sun... it just disappeared. But they kept tracking and photographing anyway. When their site's "disarrayed parts" were returned to me I recovered the main telescope camera, and a Canon telephoto backup camera that I had programmed to run automatically and mounted on the telescope.. The backup told the story... the next photo #2 below was what Roy was dealing with 45 seconds before totality... [clouds moving left to right] But then as he and Mark kept working they popped one of the most remarkable photos of the diamond ring through high cirrus clouds that I have ever seen in 47 years of chasing eclipses... photo #3. I had always heard that high cirrus clouds can create an incredible filter effect. Then followed by 12 more very nice totality shots with an irregularly shaped corona, and with red prominences sprouting off the surface, photo #4. Roxanne is coming out of surgery now... Her surgeon said that they are bracing the broken knee bone, and putting a plate in her wrist. I'll see this Solar Princess later tonight. Her eclipse practice photo is #5, EMS photo #6. And our other Solar Princess, M. Elaine Richardson, stayed by her side until she came out of surgery! And finally the capper... The President of the hospital came by her room and when he found out she was on the 2017 South Carolina Total Eclipse Team, suggested that that the nursing staff roll her out in a gurney to see Totality while waiting for the surgeon to come out of surgery! So the moral of this story is... never, never give up. Keep pushing forward like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Mark, Roy, Elaine, and Roxanne certainly did. - courtesy of Dr John D Bernard

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