An Eccentric Anomaly: Ed Davies's Blog

Well that was an epic bit of ill-preparation and marginal weather but I did get to see something and take a few piccies.

It's been another two years since I've used my telescope but yesterday I collected it and some LiFePOâ‚„ batteries from my container in preparation for today's eclipse. What I couldn't find was the solar filter which is in a box with some books labelled as such on the outside but the label wasn't visible. Never mind - time to play with the scope again anyway.

When I got back I realised that it's all very well to have the scope to hand but it would be better to have its tripod as well. That made me feel pretty stupid.

The forecast was for 100% clouds so I didn't bother with any preparations other than giving my binoculars a bit of a clean.

This morning indeed started pretty dark with the eclipse starting around 08:30 and maximum about an hour later. I had breakfast watching slight thinnings in the cloud but thinking that if there was to be any chance maybe I'd be better going elsewhere as there seemed to be orographic clouds off the hills to the south west.

A little later a thinner bit of cloud moved in front of the sun and I got this picture around 08:55 by eyepiece projection with my binoculars.

Clouds then thickened for a while but just before maximum eclipse a clearance came by and I got some much better views and a few pictures of variable quality. It was really difficult holding the binoculars still with one hand and taking phone photos with the other. This one isn't very sharp but I do like the combination of the large projected image and the smaller shadow images from the holes in the binocular strap.

Somewhat crisper projection:

This was not my first solar eclipse (3rd I think) but it was by far the most extreme. I've seen it before that the light around maximum is weird but this was more than I've seen before - the combination of normal direct sunlight colours but dimness really doesn't feel right. I tried a few photos of the general scene near maximum but the camera compensates, of course. Still, the picture directly into sun gives a slight idea:

Nearer maximum the tree shadows on my van were nice to look at.

Eyepiece projection around that time.

And then it clouded up again until near the end.