Sun in H-alpha / White Light With Lunt LS100THa , Canon XTi, Lumix Uploaded 5/26/12 Total Annular Eclipse Final Report For the weekend of May 20, 2012
 For this major event - an Annular eclipse, we headed up to Page, right on the center line for totality. Predicted to be over 4 1/2 minutes of totality, we brought our cameras, telescopes and plenty of rations and found a nice "quiet" butte west of the town of Page, several miles out. After setting up, the forest service arrived, then bus loads of hundreds of visitors, eclipse watchers and then dozens of amateur astronomers fully equipt to watch the eclipse! Little did we know at the time our quiet location was the hot bed for State Park major event, and what a total carnival it ended up being. Despite this surprise - We all had a great time, the sky was totally clear, cloud free and dry. Here is the complete photo pictorial of the event, We hope you enjoy these as much as we did making them!
Images below are 800-1290 wide and MANY Images ARE clickable to 1290 Size or larger!

 Heading out to Page, Arizona Sunday Morning

The trip up featured some prong horn sheep running just north of Flagstaff (Dawn-Lumix)

Arrival at the "Lonely Butte" to view the event

View from the top of the Butte, 180 degree panorama looking east toward Page:

This image is clickable to a much larger screen filling size!

Dawn views the geologic interpretation sign on the hill top

Me standing on the west side of the butte, looking in the direction the sun will be setting over. Perfect low mountain horizon...

Looking east overlooking lake Powell. Boat docks on left side. We are hundreds of feet off the plain.

The bridge over the canyon in Page

At our initial set up site on the west side of the butte, we set up the Coronado PST next to our Escape and started to settle in for the long day up on the butte.

Here I am on the west site, all set up with the Lunt LS100 pointed at the high noon sun...

Then they came. First a few with the park service started to show up, then hordes of sightseers on an eclipse tour, observers from all over the state, then huge buss loads on the "Solar Bus", and finally the Park service had to stop everyone and turn them around to go back and be shuttled up from the remote parking area. We were totally stunned! We had NO idea that this was going to happen. They moved me (Grrrrrrr) after I had set up, and all cars had to be parked a certain way on the hill top. Fortunately, I had a fairly clear view of both the sun and the horizon. We set up again, and waited for the adventure to begin...

The start of the observers section, where amateurs with solar scopes were setting up for the public.

Well, here we are at our second site, the Lunt is on the left, tripod in the middle for the long event sequence with the XTi, and Dawn is wearing her solar shirt today!

Showing off the Sun with the Lunt to visitors.

Setting up the XTi for the exposure sequence...

Hordes of tripods set up on west side.

We should have known. Here is the sign for the busses to drop off the loads of "Eclipse Tourists"

So THATS the name of where we were!

Yes, the "Solar Express" has arrived. Then another, then another...

Finally, the partial Eclipse started:

Watching the partial phases with the solar glasses. We gave out a bunch of these glasses to the public!

Projection of the sun in eclipse with a pair of small binoculars.

Dawn watches the progression of the eclipse

Then we noticed that on the inside of the objective lens of the Lunt was a perfectly focused image of the eclipsed Sun formed from the internal optical layout.

Other observers during the partial phases

The crescent sun on the Lunt

RING OF FIRE projected on the inside surface of the Lunts objective!

A bit darker during totality.

Telescopic Image Sets - Lunt LS100 Hydrogen Alpha instrument, DMK51 USB camera on an old Televue GEM mount.

Partial Phases

Here is the sun just before the eclipse started, a full disk shot with the Lunt. Note the giant sunspot on the right side.

First "Nibble"

Longer exposure to show prominences on the limb. Look on the lower right cusp - the prom is actually cut in half by the moons edge!

Some 2.5x Televue Powermate Barlow close ups to show the intricate solar details. Your limited to around 10 seconds integration time on your AVI movies to keep the moons limb from blurring.

Back to the full disk view with the Antares .5x focal reducer.

The very start of Totality! The moon is completely within the Suns disk...

The "Ring of Fire" at Central totality with the Lunt 100:

Still total, the moon now approaches the opposite limb.

I did a longer exposure to show the proms on the left emerging from the moons disk BEFORE the suns disk re emerges.

More post totality 2.5x close ups

Sunset Sequence of the Partially Eclipsed Sun

For this long sequence, in which I nearly depleted the laptops battery to nothing, I recorded the setting eclipsed sun with the Lunt in rapid fire sequence, so that you can see it behind the distant mountains edge. Exposures for the AVI movies had to be kept extremely short - less than 1 second or about 8 - 10 frames to not blur too much the mountains edge. The setting sun moves past the mountain at around 15 arc seconds per second, blazing fast.

And that ends the photo shots with the Lunt!

And here is a long series of exposures with the DSLR combined into one seamless sequence of the entire event. It was made from dozens of exposures taken every 5 minutes through a Baader safety solar foil to filter the sun at 1/250 at f/8. The last few frames were very dim! Moments after the sun set, I pulled off the filter, and without moving the camera, shot the sky with a normal exposure. All images were combined with the "Star trails Action" available for free as a download on my web site. The result is a complete recording of the eclipse from full disk to totality to sunset. I almost messed up here, since totality lasted 4.5 minutes, and I didnt think of that when I set up the exposures for every 5 minutes. I could have missed all of totality. But lady luck was with me and it was perfect. Whew!

Instruments: Lunt LS100THa Halpha or Canon 17-40mm @17mm Platform: Televue GEM Camera: DMK 51 USB, Canon XTi Hutech Modified Location: Page, Arizona Elevation: 6500 ft. Sky: Seeing 1/5, Transparency 6/10 Outside Temperature: 80F Processing: Autostakkert 2, Photoshop CS2 Solar Home Page HOME SCHMIDT GALAXIES EMISSION NEBS REFLECTION NEBS COMETS GLOBULARS OPEN CLUST PLANETARIES LINKS