Sunday, December 2, 2012

Photos: Solar Eclipse off the Coast of Australia

Our recent trip to Papua New Guinea was timed so that we would see the total eclipse of the sun off the coast of Australia on our way back from Papua New Guinea.  Here is a photo of the sun during the toal eclipse.  If you enlarge the photo you should be able to see the red prominences at several points around the rim, which are caused by the sun shining through mountain peaks on the edge of the moon.
The solar eclipse started at 5:45 a.m., while the sun was very low in the sky.  We had a meteorologist on our solar eclipse cruise who gave us weather briefings and accurately predicted that by the time the eclipse started, the sun would rise above the marine layer of clouds on the horizon.
The eclipse lasted about 2 hours, with the first hour progressing in scenes like the above photo, as the moon covered a greater portion of the sun.  We used a solar filter to take these photos, otherwise pointing the camera at the sun would show only a giant light, without form or shape.
When thee moon has moved across the sun and the eclipse is in totality, we can take the solar filters off and take photos through the regular telephoto lens.
The eclipse a couple of weeks ago off the coast of Cairns, Australia was in totality for about 2 minutes. This gave some time to take different exposures.  The photo above was shot with a faster shutter than the previous photo, which let in less light and added to the definition of the features of the moon and the light of the sun.
This photo shows the instant that the moon is starting to move down from the total eclipse stag and begin to show more of the sun.  It is called the diamond ring effect.
This final photo in the series shows a little more of the diamond ring, and the added light signals that it was time to put the solar filters back on our lenses, as we were about to get too much light to photograph.


brattcat said...

wow! thank you for this eclipse series.

Judy said...

That must have been amazing to see in person! Awesome photos.

Sharon said...

Wow, these are great photos!

Jo said...

Wow, this must have been an amazing experience, wonderful photos and memories you now have.

Kate said...

What a beautiful series...well-timed!

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