Monday, August 21, 2017

The Solar Eclipse from Oregon

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 6:02 PM

click to enlarge The eclipse at 10:23:10 a.m. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • The eclipse at 10:23:10 a.m.

The day started early in Culver, Oregon, smack in the path of totality for the solar eclipse. As if he knew what was coming, a nearby coyote greeted the dawn with a yip-yip-yip-howl serenade. The rosy sky silhouetted the junipers that dot the rocky high desert landscape.

I set up my Canon 70d with a 600 millimeter lens and put on the solar filter. After several quick shots and some minor adjustments, I was ready. At 9:11 a.m., right on cue, the moon started taking a tiny bite out of the sun's disk. I snapped pictures every minute for the next two hours or so, capturing all the phases. See the slideshow below for highlights.

click to enlarge The camera setup, ready to go. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • The camera setup, ready to go.

Starting at 10:24 a.m. and for almost two minutes (the only safe time) our group took off our solar glasses and gazed upward.

Mother Nature did not disappoint. Accompanied by an encore chorus from all the coyotes in the neighborhood, the sky went dark. No one noticed the cold as the moon's dark disk blocked the sun, allowing us to see the sun's corona. You can see them, pinched into columns by the sun's magnetic field, bunched at both poles.

The moon moved inexorably on, providing a grand finale with one brilliant “diamond ring” shot. Then the sky brightened, the air warmed and the chorus stilled. I feel confident the sun will rise again tomorrow.

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