The Great American "Partial" Eclipse (Updated 8/22/17)

My new t-shirt😀

On 8/21/17 The Great American Eclipse will occur.  those lucky enough to travel or live where totality will occur will have a great view.  Most of us will not be that lucky, but that shouldn't stop you from trying to SAFELY view the Great American "Partial" Eclipse.  Here at Boyertown, Pa we will see about a 75% coverage at it's peak.  Today I was determining what I was going to do.  I will be doing stills and making a time lapse, but today was practice filming with my Williams Optics 81mm 5 element refractor checking out if the field of view was appropriate and seeing what kind of movie my Canon 60 Da would supply.  Mount is a Hypertuned CGX.  I believe the FOV was perfect for my purpose so I ran a test run of 4 minutes.  The links below will take you to my YouTube channel.  The first one will be a condensed version of the movie(1'4" in length) and the second link is the full slightly over 4 minute movie.  I used CyberLink to add the titles, music and the condensing.


The day we have waited for has come and gone.  Final results were mixed with more failures than successes.  First of all, Mother Nature went from a prediction of all clear to one of high clouds to times of clear to mostly cloudy.  My movies were a no go and so I decided to do a time lapse instead with one 1/160 exposure every 15 secs for a little over 3 hours.  Mother Nature said no to that also when clouds intervened for 15-20 minutes at a time.  After allowing for a meridian flip I went to make sure everything was centered and saw the blocking filter on the Luntnlooked like it slipped out about a 1/4 of an inch.  I readjusted it and started shooting.  Little did I realize until it was all over that the blocking filter was that way from the beginning, so when I put it back in and retightened my shots were now out of focus.  My second group of images were worthless.  This was my first eclipse and needless to say it was a learning experience.

My setup was a Lunt 80mm double stack on a CGX mount that has been Hypertuned.  The mount tracked the Sun dead center in the live view of the camera for all 3.5 hours and performed flawlessly.  Camera was a Canon 60Da.  Exposure was 1/160 at an ISO of 100.  Setup is pictured below.

This was one of the few good shots, between weather problems and my bungling, that I got.

Surface showing granulations and a sunspot region upper left on the Sun.

Hope you did better.  Keep looking up!

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