Here it is folks! The astronomical event of a lifetime! Way better than I could have even imagined! Here are the images and videos:
People start coming out onto the field setting up their equipment. Excitement is building!
Preliminary results from the telescope:
For full resolution images click on the “My Astroimages” on the right side of the blog page.
Final notes and “What I learned from my first Total Solar Eclipse”:
- This is by far the most amazing celestial event I have ever witnessed and words, even images cannot describe it accurately. You MUST make a point of seeing one live in your lifetime.
- The human eye is way better than any camera at seeing the entire corona of the Sun during totality, so all of the advice regarding not distracting yourself with equipment is very important. From the pinhole crescent shadows just before totality to the dark shadow approaching you from behind to the stars coming out, the corona popping out and even a slight glimpse of the diamond ring when the eclipse ends are all things you just have to take in as a total experience. Nothing like it!
- AUTOMATE YOUR IMAGING! Folks, this Eclipse Orchestrator program was totally awesome and all of the preparation really paid off. I was able to take pretty decent images while enjoying the experience live and not having to worry about my stuff! There are several programs out there that work well. Find one and go with it!
- If you are going to image, prepare, prepare , prepare. Do NOT underestimate the importance of that. There is so much energy and excitement that you will not be able to think during the event.
- Polar align your scope the night before on Polaris if possible. Compass alignment is not going to be nearly as good.
- Use ISO 200, not 400 if you’re shooting with an f/8 system
- The solar corona is HUGE. 800mm focal length is what I was at and the corona is going to get cropped. 400mm is probably better for that but I am still happy with the image scale I chose because of the features such as diamond ring and prominences which are better resolved with longer focal length. The choice will be yours!
- Set yourself up with like minded observers. My observing site was set up for imagers and those with telescopes so we had enough space for equipment. If you are going to set up equipment in an area with casual observers and their families you will run the risk of children or unknowing adults accidentally bumping into your stuff and potentially ruining your images
- Plan an exit strategy from the area! This was the biggest mistake I made. No idea the exodus was going to be as crazy as it was. It tool us 12 hours to drive from Casper to Denver when normally it’s 4 hours! Plan to stay at least a day or 2 after the eclipse to avoid the traffic
Anyway that’s it! My wife is already planning for the next eclipse. You should too!
Thanks for reading!