A Burning Ring of Fire

Sunday, May 20th there was an annular eclipse that covered the western United States and a good portion of Asia as well.  This was the first one visible to the United States in 20 years and I’m told it will be the last one for quite a while as well.  If you were on the East Coast, you did not get to see the show before the sun went down.  If you were in Central time, you could only see it if you were in Texas.  However, if you were lucky enough to be in a region with a clear view to the show, it was a real treat!

My family drove to a little town called Kanarraville, Utah (37.537620, -113.184453) and set up a picnic with some friends in the town park.  Stolen Droids’ friend Sgt. Chilidog had brought his telescope and a bunch of “Eclipse Viewer” filters for us to all watch the event, however every time one of us klutzes came near the thing everything had to be readjusted and set back up.  On a whim, I took one of the filters and held it up in front of our family camera (Canon PowerShot SX10 IS).  Sure enough, not only could I easily see everything, but I had a 80X zoom to boot!  With some ingenuity from Chilidog’s family, we rigged a Band-Aid style camera filter (literally).

Please note that some of these pictures have some strange artifacts across them.  As the sun became more obscure, the camera had a harder time focusing as the light was fading.  At times it was over saturating and other times it was compensating so hard the sun looks almost fake.  Also, as the sun starts to crest on the opposite side of the moon you will notice what looks like “ghosting” from the sun.  This is due to the fact that there are now two light sources coming from the sun and it creates havoc with the optics.  You can see the same effect in action with our shadows.

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