Friday, July 20, 2012

Annular Solar Eclipse

 We were fortunate that San Diego had a pretty good view of the annular solar eclipse from May 20, 2012.  An annular eclipse is when the apparent diameter of the moon is not large enough to completely block out the sun.  See?  These are the kinds of things you learn when you date an astrophysicist.

This was a really cool hydrogen alpha telescope that is used only for sun viewing and shows emissions in that bright red.  You could actually see all the solar flares coming off the surface of the sun.

This was a really cool set-up where they projected the image onto a piece of cardboard behind the eyepiece.  The round shadow is where the moon is blocking out the light from the sun.  And if you look really closely you can see that little black speck in the left picture that is actually a sun spot! The picture on the right shows the most that the moon covered the sun during the eclipse.

 And N and I planned ahead with some mango lemonade, London broil sandwiches, and a crossword.  We, however, did not think to pack any chairs since the nature preserve did not really have any benches or anywhere to sit.

All in all, pretty neat event that doesn't come around too often.  Too bad the next total eclipse is only going to be visible in Australia.

P.S. It's Moon Day today!  At least according to some extremely questionable sources a.k.a. my roommate and some website she found.

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