Solar Eclipse, Dec 25, 2000

Here are some photos I took during the solar eclipse on Christmas morning, 2000, in Tucson, Arizona, USA. Click on an image to view a larger version.

solar_eclipse_6b.jpg (42 kB) Cookie monster! Some sun spots are visible in this photo, which was taken around 9:30 AM. You can see them much more clearly when the image is two feet wide!
eclipse_viewing_setup_1b.jpg (33 kB) Here is the setup I used to project the sun's image on a piece of poster board.
eclipse_viewing_setup_2b.jpg (45 kB) Another view of the setup. Note the extremely stable stand I used to elevate the scope 8^). Actually, it wasn't *quite* as teetery as it looks because the box had some heavy stuff in it.

My telescope is a 8" f6 dob. The eyepiece in the setup photos is 40mm, but I used a 25mm for the photo of the sun at the top. At higher magnifications, the image was too dim.

Next year, there will be a much better eclipse here in Tucson (December 14, I think; need to look it up). I plan to construct a dark box for viewing the projected image.

WARNING: NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN THROUGH A TELESCOPE WITHOUT A SOLAR FILTER INSTALLED. While we were watching the eclipse, I demonstrated for my family and neighbors what would happen to a your retina if you did, by placing a piece of paper in front of the eyepiece. It ignited within a couple of seconds.

CAUTION: If your telescope has any plastic in the optics, especially in the eyepieces, don't try using it as a solar projector like I've done here. The energy from the sun is powerful enough (especially when focused) to MELT the plastic.

Jim Wilson