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: 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: 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.

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.]