May 20, 2012 Solar Eclipse


On Sunday, May 20, 2012 a fine annular solar eclipse traced a path from southeast Asia, across Korea and Japan, over the Pacific, and in the southwest U.S. Although this would have been an nice partial eclipse from Cloudbait, I traveled south to Albuquerque to catch it right on the centerline.

Camera SetupOdd Shadows
I found a nice spot to set up along the base of Sandia Peak- a little above the city with a good view of the western horizon. That was important, because from this location the Sun would set while still partially eclipsed, so I wanted a good low view of it. At totality (in this case, when the Moon was centered in front of the Sun), the lighting became very odd. Besides being darker outside than felt right for the height of the Sun, shadows were strange. This is because they were being cast by a ring of light, not a disc like usual.

I set up a Coronado H-alpha solar scope which I used visually (there were some very nice filaments and prominences showing that afternoon), and my trusty Canon 300D camera with a 500mm Celestron Maksutov lens blocked with a glass solar filter.

Eclipsed Green Flash
Right at sunset, with the solar filter removed, I captured what appears to be the well known green flash phenomenon (caused by atmospheric dispersion)- not at the top edge as usual, but on the eclipsed limb.

Short animated sequence, from the beginning of the eclipse to sunset.

Long Sequence

Full sequence from the beginning of the eclipse to sunset.

© Copyright 2012, Chris L Peterson. All rights reserved.