2019 Eclipse

A little less than two years after the 2017 “Great American Eclipse,” there was another excellent eclipse opportunity in South America. Chile had the best weather prospects, so I headed down to Santiago with my daughter Caroline and her friend. Arrived in Santiago on a cold and rainy day, in the dead of the Southern Hemisphere winter. But the weather cleared up the next day, where we continued our tour of Santiago, and Caroline got to fulfill her dream of having her picture taken with a llama in a hat.

After spending a couple of days in Santiago, we headed up to La Serena, in the path of totality. After surviving rush-hour traffic through Santiago, the rest of the trip up Ruta Cinco was pretty uneventful. La Serena was all decked out, and in an eclipse mood.

The eclipse was obviously the big news in Chile that day, and there were several news crews, including CNN, on the beach.

When I opened up my equipment Pelican case, I found this nice note from the TSA telling me they had opened and inspected my luggage. I thought it was amusing. Up until I tried to fire up the electronics – an Arduino and a Raspberry Pi – that were in the case, and were to run the clock drive, camera shutters, and polarization and flash spectrum cameras. All of the electronics were dead. The TSA fried my electronics. I scrambled to come up with a backup plan.

The beach was pretty crazy as totality approached.

The Eclipse

This is a “High Dynamic Range” image, stacked from seven exposures from 1/2500 s to 4 s. This eclipse was very near the minimum of the sunspot cycle, so the corona was pretty calm.

And this is “fun with image processing.” This is an image of the moon, illuminated by earthshine, during the total eclipse. The small moon image in the lower right is for reference. It is amazing how much detail is visible in the earthshine image.