2017 Eclipse

The Great American Eclipse

…in real time, in a nutshell…

Drove up to our reserved campsite in Ogalala, Nebraska, but the weather prospects looked poor. Did a quick re-locate to Guernsey, Wyoming, and threw ourselves on the hospitality of the locals. Thankfully, they were letting people set up around the school and on the football field.

The Rig…

I had been to two total eclipses before, the 1979 eclipse in the Pacific northwest, and the 1991 Baja eclipse. Mostly observed them through the viewfinder of my camera, taking photos. For this eclipse, my goal was to automate the process, and simply watch the eclipse take place while six cameras, operated by my Mac, took as many pictures as possible. There were a few glitches. The battery of the Nikon, taking polarization images, died right before the eclipse and, due to the upside-down mounting of the camera, wouldn’t slide out to be replaced. And there were problems with the flash spectrum camera. But “the Rig” took over 200 individual images, plus a Virtual Reality video.

This is “the” image – an HDR image processed with custom software from 9 individual exposures from 1/1000 to 1/4 second.
Bailey’s Beads – one of the imaging goals.
The full sky view. Note Venus a third the way down at about 6:30.