Thank you AAPOD for choosing my image. :)
22 panel mosaic of the Sun in Hydrogen Alpha
This image I took on the 5/4/15 and is composed of 22 individual frames joined together to create the full solar disc.
This was taken with a modded PST and the camera was a DMK41.
Image credit NASA from the http://www.svalbard2015.no/pages/eclipse.html website.
Next month on March the 20th we will be treated to a total solar eclipse with the main path of the eclipse being over the Faroe Islands and Svalbard in Norway.
For the rest of Europe, Greenland, parts of northern Africa and Asia we will be able to enjoy viewing a partial eclipse. Totality will occur at 9:45amUTC and last for 2 minutes and 47 seconds and depending on your location the first contact starts at 7:41amUTC and the even should be finished by 11:51amUTC.
A good website to work out timings for your location is http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2015-march-20
The below image image shows the eclipse path.
Full image credit goes to www.timeanddate.com
The area in red will be seeing the total solar eclipse.
Dark Orange, More than 90% of the sun is covered.
Orange, Up to 90% of the sun is covered.
Light Orange, Up to 40% of the sun is covered.
With the white areas the Eclipse is not visible at all.
WARNING: Never look directly at the Sun without eye protection and proper filters!
Eye safety during an eclipse or any time you wish to view the Sun is extremely important, after all you only have one set of eyes so you don't want to damage them. Using some sensible precautions viewing an eclipse can be quite easy and safe for everybody young and old.
One of the easiest, cheapest and safest ways is to make a pinhole projector. This is a great way to get kids involved and all that is required are two pieces of cardboard and something to make a small hole in one of those pieces.
Instructions can be found here http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/make-pinhole-projector.html
Tree foliage can also act as a natural projector so keep an eye out for the shadow cast by tree branches and you may just see a lot of little mini eclipses, again something fun to get kids involved.
Another cheap and safe method is to use a pair of solar eclipse glasses, these can be ordered online through any good telescope retailer for a small amount and even may be given away free at out reach or club public viewing events, check your local astro magazines as well.
For those who wish to view the eclipse using their telescopes then the easiest and safest method is to use an authorized solar filter, again these can be ordered from local retailers and can span a wide range of price brackets. I recommend using Baader Solar Film.
One tip though is to make sure you either cover your finder scope with a filter or replace the cap as if left uncovered it will become a fire hazard.
All in all viewing an eclipse can be a fun and enjoyable time for everybody and pending the weather I do really hope you can get to see it.
Below is a setup of mine from the last partial eclipse that is the same as I will be using this time around.
I was just playing around in photoshop and decided to celebrate a string of clear days I would make an animation of solar images.
All the pics were roughly taken 24 hours apart.
Today saw a break in the weather and one I took full advantage of with a quick imaging session on the Sun.
I have shown two different perspectives of it, one using false colour to give it the familiar 'yellow sun' appearance and the other is an inverted image. I hope you enjoy!
I captured these white light shots of the Sun with AR1944 proudly on display on the 6th of January 2014. I used a full aperture Baader Solar photographic film ND3.8(strictly not for visual use) on my 150mm reflector shot with my Canon 450D. It is a stack of 54 single exposures to build up the detail.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Back in June 2012 a celestial event that wont happen again for another 105 years occurred, it was the transit of Venus in front of the Solar disc.
At the time we were lucky enough to travel to the island of Santorini in Greece to see the transit as it would give us more time and hopefully better weather than further north where we lived at the time.
The whole trip was fantastic, the weather was perfect every day but then on the morning of the transit I woke to be greeted with the scene below.
Needless to say that this didn't inspire me with much hope of being able to catch the rising Sun with transit in full swing. Thankfully though the cloud was only localised over the island and down to the horizon it was clear leaving a thin gap between the ocean and the clouds.
I didn't take any specialised imaging equipment over with me just my camera and 75-300mm zoom lens and I also fashioned a white light filter for the lens from a Pringles container, still I managed to capture a few nice images and I'm glad I did because the next opportunity to see a transit of Venus is a long ways off.
On Sunday the 3rd of November there was a total hybrid solar eclipse that was best visible throughout middle Africa however here in Spain we were able to see a partial eclipse of the Sun and had great weather for the display with temps of 28°C and cloudless skies.
I had a couple of telescopes set up ready to go, one being a Ha pst mod and the other a white light filter on my Newtonian which is the telescope I used to capture some images with.
We had a great afternoon as a family viewing this event and as I could spend some scope time with my kids it always makes things a better experience.
I have included a couple of pics and a small gif animation of the partial eclipse, all in all it was a great day rounded off by a quick trip to the beach.
Not bad for first week of November. :)