02 August 2008

Great eclipse images

The total solar eclipse of August 1st was well documented. Sky and Telescope has a nice gallery of pictures. I find that photos can't really do justice to the real thing, but a collection of photos like those on Sky and Telescope are interesting if taken in total -- that is, look at many of them and imagine seeing all of these images at the same time with your eye. That is what it is like at an eclipse. Your eye can see a lot more shades of brightness than a camera and besides the visual spectacle of an eclipse, being there is an unforgettable experience.

A colleague showed me this amazing view of the total solar eclipse from an airplane. The most intriguing thing to me is the way the shadow of the moon looks from the vantage point of an airplane and how it moves from north to south during the very short period of totality. It must be a very eerie sight to see in person.

Astrophotographer Dennis diCicco takes excellent photographs and this depicts him at work in China.This image gives you a sense of what it looks like to be there with a dusk-like but not dark sky. You can see Mercury and Venus to the upper left of the sun-moon pair.

The Exploratorium had its usual great coverage of the eclipse live from China. The video is now available for replay on their website. It is a great resource if you want to get an idea of what it is like to be at an eclipse.

No comments: