Total Solar Eclipse 08/21/17

I finally got the time to get some pictures together! Between increased duties at work, the long drive back from Tennessee, and hurricane Harvey, I have been a wee bit busy, sorry!

Early on Saturday 19th my wife and I loaded up Buster (my MINI Countryman) and headed up to Memphis. We spend the night there and had a little fun on Beale street. Since it was my wife’s birthday and she was being nice enough to let me head to the eclipse, I figured she should have a little fun, and we did!

Sunday the 20th we ate lunch at the Hard Rock on Beale street (Hard Rocks are kinda our little tourist thing) and then headed for Paris, TN. This was our base camp as it allowed me to keep an eye on the weather and had easy access north, west or south to wherever the skies were clear. I could not afford to miss this so I was making sure.

The weather was awesome so we headed to an eclipse event in Clarksville, TN at the Old Glory Distillery. The people there were awesome and their spirits were awesome too! Unfortunately their stuff is only available in Tennessee so that may mean we have to go back, heh.

solar eclipseI set up my 110mm Orion refractor I use for imaging on my Orion Sirius mount, installed my Thousand Oaks glass filter and then fired up the laptop. Next to this setup I put my old Nikon D90 DSLR on a tripod with a 200mm 2.8 ED lens and a 1.4 teleconverter using Baader Solar Film. I also had a video camera using Baader film mounted below the refractor.

solar eclipseIt was hot in the parking lot so I put up a little shade tent and let my wife sit under it watching the laptop while I stayed out in the sun making sure everything went well, it didn’t. It took forever to get the mount to line up on the sun, then it wouldn’t track, then a cable came unplugged. It was a nightmare. At just a couple minutes to first contact I told my wife I did not think I would be ready in time. I was fortunately wrong.

Yes, I tested everything well in advance to the event, but even so, things can still go wrong. I am just thankful that the only real disappointment was that the video was completely useless, both cameras got plenty of great images.

Let’s take a look at some images!

solar eclipse

solar eclipseThere are some more images that are pretty cool too:

solar eclipseThis is an  enlargement from the D90 which is far inferior to the ones taken through the telescope with the D7000, however you can clearly see the red chromosphere showing up as pink here. This only happens for a few seconds so the fact that I captured them is pretty cool.

Lastly is this image:

solar eclipseAfter the eclipse was over it was time to go inside and buy some of their limited edition Solar Shine, made just for the eclipse. It was all a blast!

I would really like to thank all the people at Old Glory, they were amazing! Also thanks to all the people who bought my book How to Take Pictures of an Eclipse: An astrophotography beginner’s guide to capturing solar and lunar eclipses. Hope to see you all at the next eclipse in 2023 (Annular) and 2024 (Total here in Texas, yeah!).

 


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