Partial Solar Eclipse

Today we had a partial solar eclipse. It was partly cloudy, but luckily the clouds did not get in the way.

I decided to try two different ways of documenting the eclipse.

Pinhole, Apertures, Eclipse Viewing, Solar EclipseThe first way was to set up a pinhole and project the sun onto a piece of white paper.

I found an old part that had different size holes on it so that I could experiment with different sizes.

Eclipse Viewing, Sun Projection, Aperture Size, PinholeI mounted the wheel in the lid of a cardboard box so that I could easily change the size of the pinhole.

Sun Projection, Eclipse Viewing, pinholeHere is a projection of the sun before the eclipse started. I set everything up during lunch so it would be ready for viewing during my afternoon break.

Projected Sun, Eclipse, Pinhole projection, Solar Eclipse, Partial Solar EclipseHere is the sun projected on the paper during the eclipse. The image is inverted by the pinhole as the moon was actually obscuring the top of the sun.

I did try different size pinholes, but the one pictured above was by far the best choice.

Now for the second method. I decided to use a dark filter with my camera and take a direct picture of the sun.

Neutral Density Filter, Dark Filter, Variable Filter, Eclipse Photography, Solar EclipseIn an old box of parts I found a variable filter. This was good as I could was able to try different positions to see what worked best.

Multiple Eclipse Images, Double Pane Glass, Eclipse, Solar Eclipse, Partial EclipseHere was one of my first attempts. As soon as I saw the triple image, I knew what was wrong. I was taking the picture through the double pane window of my training room and I was picking up birefringence from the multiple reflective surfaces. I had to go outside to get a good picture.

The middle image above is actually quite interesting as you can see sunspots on the surface of the sun.

Partial Solar Eclipse, Picture of Eclipse, Solar Eclipse, Dark FilterThis picture was taken near the peak of the eclipse. The shadow of the moon was very defined as it moved across the disc of the sun.

Taking pictures of this eclipse brought back some good memories.

I remember in 6th grade when we all walked to our teacher’s house to watch a total solar eclipse. I don’t remember where they were broadcasting from, but it was something I will always remember.

I also remember one partial eclipse that we viewed at home when I was young. My Mom had curtains with a pattern of small holes and each of the holes projected little eclipses onto the kitchen floor.

Did you see the eclipse today?



For a look at the two lunar eclipses earlier this year you can visit the posts that I wrote about them:

Lunar Eclipse - Blood Red Moon - Hazy Sky

The Blood Red Moon



Blood Red Moon, Eclipse, tripod, Sony, Zeiss

The Blood Red Moon II

Earth Movers Then and Now

I was looking for some Halloween images in my Grandma’s Scrapbooks tonight and instead ran across a couple interesting images of earth movers.

Earth Mover, Heavy Equipment, 1958 Construction Technology, Earth ScraperLITTLE MAN – BIG SCOOP – Earth moving machine dumps load at the touch of a button. Mammoth machine can turn in a tighter circle than most automobiles.

This big earth mover was a new sight in 1958. Caterpillar did not come out with self-propelled earth movers until 1950. This earth mover is grading a road near Shenandoah, Iowa. The road is being widened and also flattened out by shaving down some of the hills.

Earth Mover, Caterpillar, Heavy Equipment, Construction EquipmentHUGE EARTH MOVER SINKS INTO OLD ROADBED – On Highway 50 with its load of 20 yards of dirt.

These big earth movers were developed just in time to help build the Interstate Highway system that began in the mid 50’s.

Of course these big graders are not only used in highway construction. You will see them being used in any large construction project that needs grading.

That brings us to the now.

Caterpillar Graders, Construction Project, Earth Movers, GradingJust across from our office they have been grading the site of the new East County Hall of Justice.

Last week I took a walk around the block and took a few pictures of the big graders.

Earth Grading, Caterpillar, East County Justice Center, Construction EquipmentThese are just two of the big graders that they are using. They are moving a lot of dirt as they transform the topography of the site.

What is interesting is that these are probably about the same size as the graders from the 50’s. However, they do make graders that are about three to four times this size for really big construction projects.

It is quite interesting as they have removed a large section of a berm. We can now see buildings that are block north of us that we couldn’t see before.

Of course, the view of the buildings will be blocked again soon as they start construction. You will most likely see more pictures of the construction in the future.