Montage of 2017 Solar Eclipse

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2017 Solar Eclipse Montage

Montage of 2017 Solar Eclipse

  • Telescope: Stellarvue SVA130T-IS
  • Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini 2 controller
  • Autoguiding: No
  • Optical Configuration: 0.72x field flattener & reducer (f/5)
  • Camera: Canon 60Da
  • Light Frames: Six single frames of partial phases and six subframes of total phase
  • Calibration: None (no darks, no flats, no biases)
  • Exposure Time(s): Partial phases = 1/5000 s; total phase = 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30 & 1 s
  • ISO: 100
  • Processing: Photoshop CC
  • Imaging Location: Prairie City, Ore.

A montage of images taken during the 2017 solar eclipse represents about two hours of the event from just after first contact (left) to just before fourth contact (right). As the moon’s silhouette moves from right to left across the solar disk, small sunspots are first masked and then unmasked. (To see the sunspots, click on thumbnail for a higher-resolution image.)

During totality, and only during totality, the sun’s faint corona becomes visible. Lunar features also appear during totality due to earthshine.

2017 Solar Eclipse: The Prominences

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Solar Prominences of Eclipse 2017

Solar Prominences of The Great American Eclipse, 2017

  • Telescope: Stellarvue SVA130T-IS
  • Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini 2 controller
  • Autoguiding: No
  • Optical Configuration: 0.72x field flattener & reducer (f/5); no solar filter during totality
  • Camera: Canon 60Da
  • Light Frame(s): Single, 1/500-sec exposure
  • Calibration: None (no darks, no flats, no biases)
  • Exposure Time: 1/500 sec
  • ISO: 100
  • Processing: Photoshop CC
  • Imaging Location: Prairie City, Ore.

During the totality phase of a total solar eclipse, prominences sometimes can be seen along the limb of the sun. The image above shows two such prominences and several smaller ones that appeared during the 2017 solar eclipse (The Great American Eclipse).

Prominences consist of a hot, dense plasma that usually follows the magnetic field lines of the sun, arcing thousands of miles above the surface (photosphere).

[Many thanks to the Emmels of Prairie City, Ore., who made their ranch available to grateful eclipse viewers like me. Their hospitality made the experience even more enjoyable for all of us.]

2017 Solar Eclipse: The Solar Corona

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High-Dynamic-Range Image of Solar Corona

A high-dynamic-range image showcases the solar corona and the Moon during The Great American Eclipse of 2017.

  • Telescope: Stellarvue SVA130T-IS
  • Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini 2 controller
  • Autoguiding: No
  • Optical Configuration: 0.72x field flattener & reducer (f/5); no solar filter during totality
  • Camera: Canon 60Da
  • Light Frame(s): 6 frames from 1/500 sec to 1 sec
  • Calibration: None (no darks, no flats, no biases)
  • Exposure Time(s): 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30 sec, and 1 sec
  • ISO: 100
  • Processing: Photoshop CC using HDR Pro
  • Imaging Location: Prairie City, Ore.

This high-dynamic-range image reveals many lunar features along with the detailed structure of the solar corona during The Great American Eclipse of 2017. Super-heated plasma escaping from the sun creates the solar corona and becomes the solar wind that blows through our solar system at a million miles per hour. The charged particles that make up the coronal plasma follow the magnetic field lines of the sun and form streamers in the corona, like iron filings around a magnet. In this image, north is up, south is down, east is left, and west is right.

Sunlight reflecting from our Earth during the eclipse illuminates the Moon and bounces back to Earth as “earthshine.” Because of this earthshine, lunar features such as the “seas” and several large craters (Tycho, Copernicus, etc.) can be imaged during totality. The blue color of the Moon comes from our blue sky.

Eastern Veil Nebula (NGC 6992)

Eastern Veil Nebula (NGC 6992) Without Bright Stars

The Eastern Veil Nebula (NGC 6992) without the bright stars

  • Telescope: Stellarvue SVA130T-IS
  • Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini 2 controller
  • Autoguiding: Yes
  • Optical Configuration: 0.72x field flattener & reducer (f/5)
  • Camera: Canon 60Da
  • Light Frames: 25, 5-min. exposures
  • Calibration: None (no darks, no flats, no biases)
  • Exposure Time: 125 min. (25 x 5 min.)
  • ISO: 1000
  • Processing: Photoshop CC
  • Imaging Location: Prairie City, Ore.

The Veil Nebula poses something of a challenge for astrophotographers. Located in a dense star field in the constellation Cygnus, this relatively dim emission nebula must compete for attention among thousands of stars. The nebula is the remainder of a star that exploded about 5,000 to 8,000 years ago, and the debris from it has now spread out to cover about 3 degrees of our sky, or six moon diameters. The Veil Nebula is roughly 1,500 light-years away from us.

The image above shows the Eastern Veil Nebula, or NGC 6992, as astronomers call it. Like the name implies, it is the eastern part of a roughly circular structure that includes the Western Veil Nebula (NGC 6960). The red colors come from hydrogen gas, and the blue colors come from oxygen gas as the shock wave from the original explosion slams into the interstellar medium at nearly 400,000 miles per hour.

To feature the nebula but not the stars, the image above was processed to remove the brightest stars. Without this processing, the image would look like this:

The East Veil Nebula (NGC 6992), Reduced

The Eastern Veil Nebula (NGC 6992) with the bright stars

2017 Solar Eclipse: Partial Phase I

2017 Solar Eclipse: Partial Phase I

Before totality, the Moon gobbles up a string of sunspots along the solar equator as it moves from right to left in this image.

  • Telescope: Stellarvue SVA130T-IS
  • Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini 2 controller
  • Autoguiding: No
  • Optical Configuration: 0.72x field flattener & reducer (f/5); Baader solar filter
  • Camera: Canon 60Da
  • Light Frame(s): Single, 1/5000-sec exposure
  • Calibration: None (no darks, no flats, no biases)
  • Exposure Time: 1/5000 sec
  • ISO: 100
  • Processing: Photoshop CC
  • Imaging Location: Prairie City, Ore.

Before totality, the Moon slowly swallows up a string of sunspots along the solar equator during the 2017 solar eclipse.

2017 Solar Eclipse: Full Disk with Prominences

2017 Solar Eclipse: Prominences II

Three sets of prominences were visible during the 2017 solar ecliopse.

  • Telescope: Stellarvue SVA130T-IS
  • Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini 2 controller
  • Autoguiding: No
  • Optical Configuration: 0.72x field flattener & reducer (f/5); no solar filter during totality
  • Camera: Canon 60Da
  • Light Frame(s): Single, 1/500-sec exposure
  • Calibration: None (no darks, no flats, no biases)
  • Exposure Time: 1/500 sec
  • ISO: 100
  • Processing: Photoshop CC
  • Imaging Location: Prairie City, Ore.

During the totality phase of a total solar eclipse, prominences sometimes can be seen along the limb of the sun. The image above shows three such prominences that appeared during the 2017 solar eclipse (The Great American Eclipse).

Prominences consist of a hot, dense plasma that typically follows magnetic field lines, arcing thousands of miles above the sun’s surface (photosphere).

2017 Solar Eclipse Coronal Study II

Enhanced Coronal Study (HDR)

An enhanced image of the solar corona shows detailed structure.

  • Telescope: Stellarvue SVA130T-IS
  • Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini 2 controller
  • Autoguiding: No
  • Optical Configuration: 0.72x field flattener & reducer (f/5); no solar filter during totality
  • Camera: Canon 60Da
  • Light Frame(s): 6 frames from 1/500 sec to 1 sec
  • Calibration: None (no darks, no flats, no biases)
  • Exposure Time(s): 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30 sec, and 1 sec
  • ISO: 100
  • Processing: Photoshop CC using HDR Pro
  • Imaging Location: Prairie City, Ore.

This high-dynamic-range, high-contrast image, taken at totality during the 2017 solar eclipse, shows how the magnetic field of the sun becomes complex where there are local eruptions on the surface. Note the field loops on the left- and right-hand limbs, especially around the large prominence on the right. The magnetic field is little disturbed at the poles, though.