This is simply one more for those in the back: “OMG! THIS WAS AWESOME!”
The main photo is just my 10 year old Cannon point-n-shoot. Which has just every so slightly better optics (including optical zoom) than my iPhone 5s. So the main photo is just optical zoom (shot off a tripod.) And the inset is a 4x digital blowup of the main photo. (No adjustments were added to the inset.) I’m not much of a photographer, and Astrophotography is a whole other kettle of fish I’m not prepared for. But we spent a few days preparing for what each of us would be fiddling with and trying so I had a plan for my little cameras and I got some terrific memories.
I will admit, when the cloud moved away just in time, all of nature grew silent, and the shadow of the moon arrived, I secretly wished someone had cued Also sprach Zarathustra.
The eclipse was magnificent and moving. Planning a year in advance, so that we could be standing directly in the path of the shadow cast by a celestial body 220,000 miles away… I can’t describe it. Moving. Exciting. Awe-inspiring. Fun! Getting to see and do cool science experiments you only read about. Sure, in celestial terms, our little moon’s shadow flits across our blue mote many MANY times. But I count myself among the lucky ones who took the time to align my life — even if ever so briefly — with these majestic orbs.
The mostly eclipsed solar disk is in the middle of this photo– just a bit above the center. Normally, at this stage of the eclipse, the partly exposed solar disk would cause retina damage if you look at it directly. But thanks to this cloud… ok, fine, yes, clouds don’t block UV light so looking at this is a BAD idea. I looked quickly. A few times. It was TOTALLY worth it. Here, you can look all you want, but you might need to zoom in a bit…
The entire eclipse was very “busy”. It was clear, then some clouds, then clear, a cloud… the viewing conditions changed second-by-second. Truly a rare event to see.
This photograph best captured the mood and lighting, just as the eclipse began, when these wispy clouds slid before the show. It gave us a welcome variation from trying to stare directly at the naked sun.
As I mentioned earlier, the first flight left before dawn provided an extended (because flying westward) pre-dawn and sunrise show. When I fly, I always try to look for optical phenomenon and this flight was the most spectacular I have ever seen.
Two pano’s squeezed out the window. Diff exposures, no filters. Some distortion from jet bumps and window etc. Looking south. On far right you can see the ‘wedge’ of the Earth’s shadow projected up onto the lower edge of the sky. On the left you can see the southern side of the sunrise. From this altitude, you clearly get the sense of how this color “show” rotates around that south point in the middle of the photo; Like a two panel beach ball, with these spectacular colors where the two hemispheres meet. Of course, the sky and sun aren’t moving… ;) Flying westward this show lasted so much longer than when you are standing still.
WOW! Westward flight left pre-dawn and I was treated to the most spectacular sunrise and Belt of Venus (wikipedia it!) I have even seen! These are two photos of diff exposures. No filters. I’ve never seen GREEN like this. More to come! Also: GOOD MORNING CHICAGO (just for a layover tho’)