The Moon is Waxing Crescent (14% of Full)

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Re: Trip report on the annular eclipse

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Trip report on the annular eclipse
May 20, 2012 09:34PM
Since I am an enthusiastic amateur astronomer, I drove up to a wide spot in the road between Red Bluff and Lassen so that I could watch the moon eat the sun...and have a little sun left over.

There were a few other hardy souls who braved the 96 degree heat, some with telescopes, others with welding glasses. I used a couple of solar filters from my telescope making days to cut down on the intense light.

As the eclipse began, it looked like a lot of other eclipses I've seen. But then the moon covered more and more of the sun...until a ring of sun slowly began to encircle the black ball of the moon. And even then, with 95% of the sun obscured, it was still far to bright to look at with your naked eye. The landscape around grew rather darker and shadowy.

And then the ring of light closed around the moon made a full circle...a perfect circle. It held that shape for a few minutes, and then you could see the moon beginning to drift off center...and break through the ring of light. The spheres of the universe slowly continued on their way.

And then it was over. Handshakes and smiles all around, and then back in the car to drive home again.



Balzaccom

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avatar Re: Trip report on the annular eclipse
May 21, 2012 01:48AM
I feel sorry for those who used welding glasses. They likely caused temporary damage to their eyes because welding glasses do not provide proper protection.
avatar Re: Trip report on the annular eclipse
May 21, 2012 05:29PM
Quote
tomdisco
I feel sorry for those who used welding glasses. They likely caused temporary damage to their eyes because welding glasses do not provide proper protection.

A proper welding glass does the trick without risk of eye damage. It's supposedly #14 welding glass (which comes in different shades) which isn't that hard to find, although actually getting #14 is the trick.

I remember viewing an eclipse using special eclipse glasses to view a partial eclipse. I also slathered sunscreen all over my face.
Re: Trip report on the annular eclipse
May 21, 2012 05:27PM
I used two dark slides (underexposed images) sandwiched together and it was more than enough to protect my eye. Welding glasses that I have looked through are much darker, I doubt it hurt their eyes.
avatar Re: Trip report on the annular eclipse
May 22, 2012 04:00PM
I've heard of people using dark slide film to make infrared filters for their digital cameras (i.e. to let only infrared through), so I wonder if using those to view a solar eclipse is a good idea, since the sun puts out more infrared than it does visible? Wouldn't this damage your eye too? I used Baader film on my camera for the eclipse, that stuff is rated for solar viewing, it's cheap and it worked well, I'm looking forward to the Venus transit on June 5
avatar Re: Trip report on the annular eclipse
May 24, 2012 11:14AM
If one is using a proper solar filter it will be impossible to see any light whatsoever unless pointed at the Sun.
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