Beautiful Solar Eclipse!

White pines are silhouetted against the eclipsed sun minutes before sunset Sunday night. Photo: Bob King

It cleared just in time here in northern Minnesota for a great eclipse experience. My friend Jim joined me for a jaunt to Island Lake north of town, where we set up a couple small telescopes along a pleasant stretch of sandy beach. Clouds departed shortly before the moon took its first bite of sun. Nearby, fishermen tossed lines in the water hoping for a good catch. Joking, I asked Jim if he had caught anything.  “Yeah, I got a bite here,” he said, looking up from the telescope.

Partially eclipsed sun reflected in Island Lake before sunset. Photo: Bob King

At the same time, I was in touch with my friend Rick by phone. He observed from very close to the center line in northern California and shared his impressions of the “ring of fire” and weird eclipse shadows.

The big bite of sunshine missing, sunspots covered by the inexorable movement of the moon and the beauty of seeing much of it happen near sunset – what a joy.

And how about the 3-D appearance of the moon against the sun? It was easy to imagine it nearby in space compared to the much more distant sun. I’ll have more on the eclipse tomorrow, but for now here are a couple photos from the outing.

I hope you got to see it and are as psyched as I am for the next one in 2014. If you shot a picture and would like to share it with our readers, please send me a copy for possible use in the blog tomorrow. My e-mail is

See ya’ mañana.

The eclipsed sun photographed in a narrow band of red light called hydrogen-alpha (left). Notice the little fuzzy prominences or flames of hydrogen gas around the sun's periphery. On right, the sun in regular white light, showing several nice sunspot groups. Credits: (left) Jim Schaff; right: Bob King

6 Responses

  1. Mike Thiele

    Good morning Bob! Nice photos! You know I have to ask…..please share the details of your photos…camera, lens, filters, exp., aperture…etc…..thanks Bob!


    1. astrobob

      Hi Mike,
      That’s a tough one because the exposure kept changing as the sun sunk lower. Most were about 1/4000 second at f/11 at ISO 100. I used a 300mm lens for the wider shot and the same with a 1.4x teleconverter for the tight one.

    1. astrobob

      Hi Skip,
      Unfortunately we had to cancel our trip because my wife took a bad fall. She injured her back and broke her wrist and needed surgery.

  2. DUCROT Raymond

    Je suis fidèle lecteur de FRANCE, et j’ apprécie énormément vos articles.
    Une question si vous le permettez :
    ” avez-vous des informations au sujet du Transit de Vénus et du Soleil le 06 juin ”
    Par avance MERCI et Bonnes observations
    Raymond DUCROT

    I am a faithful reader of FRANCE, and I appreciate greatly your articles.
    A question if I may:
    “Do you have any information about the Transit of Venus and the Sun on June 6”
    Thanks in advance and Happy observing
    Raymond DUCROT

    1. astrobob

      Dear Raymond,
      Thank you for your nice comments about my blog. Yes, I plan to write about the upcoming transit this week.
      Best wishes for clear skies!

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