Solar Eclipse 20 May 2012
Wayne's Word Index Noteworthy Plants Trivia Lemnaceae Biology 101 Botany Scenic Wildflowers Trains Spiders & Insects Search
  Back To Scenic Index Page      Images 1     Images 2     Images 3     Images 4     Images 5     Images 6     Images 7     Images 8     Images 9     Galapagos 
Solar Eclipse Observed From San Marcos, San Diego County
 © W.P. Armstrong 20 May 2012   6:30 P.M. 

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons 2007
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth. Depending on the position of the moon in its elliptical orbit, the sun may not be completely blocked by the moon. The solar eclipse yesterday (May 20) was technically called an annular eclipse because the moon appeared smaller than the sun. Hence the sun appeared as a very "bright ring of fire" (see Wikimedia image). In the western United States, the best place to view this phenomenon yesterday was St. George, Utah. In San Diego County the sun was crescent-shaped, but still very impressive. Since I did not have a solar filter for my Nikon camera, I decided to use the next best thing available to me: An improvised pinhole camera. While playing with this simple device I discovered that the carrotwood tree in my front yard actually did a better job capturing this phenomenon than my pinhole through a piece of cardboard. Crescent-shaped shadows were dancing on my stucco, produced by small openings between the leaves.

Image of partial solar eclipse taken with a cheap pinhole camera: A piece of cardboard with an icepick hole in the center and a sheet of paper held several feet away. Sharpness of the image is a function of the size of the hole and the distance of the focal plane (paper). A more refined pinhole camera using film instead of paper produces superior images (see below). The above image is not quite up to NASA standards.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Landscape image by Ewan McGregor October 2009 was a 20 minute exposure!
Sophisticated pinhole camera images can actually be quite good when they are projected onto a sheet of photographic paper.

Images (Shadows) Produced By Carrotwood Tree

Multiple Images of a partial solar eclipse dancing on my stucco house with the slightest gust of wind.

The sun was almost masked by the moon in this carrotwood camera image!

Another carrotwood camera image slightly enhanced with Photoshop.

Images Of Moon Taken With Mamiya 500mm Telephoto Lens
 © W.P. Armstrong 14 July 2011 

A heavy duty Calumet tripod (CK 7800) and head (CK 7064) to support the Nikon D-90 with heavy Mamiya 645 Medium Format 500mm lens and Mamiya 2x teleconverter.

Without Vivitar 2x Doubler
12 June 2011: 3 days before full moon.

With Vivitar 2x Doubler
13 June 2011: 2 days before full moon.

Moon taken with Nikon D-90 and Mamiya 500mm (without Vivitar 2x doubler): ISO 200, 1/200, F-8. Magnification similar to Sony H-5 with 1.7 Teleconverter; however, image is sharper and without slight purple fringing of Sony.

Moon taken with Nikon D-90 and Mamiya 500mm (with Vivitar 2x doubler): ISO 200, 1/160, F-8. Although the 2x doubler increases the total magnification to 1500mm (500 x 2 x 1.5), the detail of moon surface is about the same as in previous image without doubler.

Same image as above only with Noise Ninja.
 See Interactive Moon Map: Move Mouse & Find Craters & Seas     Moon Images Taken With Sony H5 & 1.7x Teleconverter   

Nikon D-90 and Mamiya 500mm (with Mamiya 2x doubler). ISO 500, 1/200, F-8 (Friday 8 July 2011).

Moon taken with Nikon D-90 and Mamiya 500mm (with Mamiya 2x doubler). Left Image (Thursday 7 July 2011): ISO 1000, 1/80, F-8. Middle Image (Friday 8 July 2011): ISO 500, 1/200, F-8. Right Image (Thursday 14 July 2011): ISO 200, 1/250, F-8.

          Find The Precise Phase Of The Moon Each Day Of The Month
When Page For Today's Date Appears On Your Screen, Click On The Calculate Button

Try entering July 8, 2011 and compare with above image.
Click Here