Mike's Astro Photos


Jun.12 2012

Solar Eclipse Party – Lake Tahoe

by , under Solar

I met up with some friends in Lake Tahoe to observe the solar eclipse on May 20th, 2012. Here’s a panoramic picture from our spot at the Sand Harbor beach near Incline Village.

Panorama of Lake Tahoe from Sand Harbor - May 20th, 2012

I traveled with two huge checked bags stuffed with astronomy and meteorite hunting gear, a pelican camera case and a full back pack. It was worth the hassle and we had great equipment to observe and photograph the eclipse. Here’s a picture of me setting up the astrotrac travel mount and the Cornado Personal Solar Telescope.

Setting up Solar Telescope for Eclipse

Everybody loved the solar telescope and you could see flames shooting off the side of the sun. People were taking photos of the eye piece with iphones and quick shot cameras. This actually worked pretty well. Here’s a picture of totality taken with a canon power shot pointed at the eye-piece of the telescope.

2012 Solar Eclipse Totality Seen Through Cornado PST

Here’s a photo of the eclipse projected on a piece of paper using binoculars. This method actually works amazingly well, but you have to be careful people don’t actually look at the sun through the binoculars. Some folks just don’t know any better.

Solar Eclipse Projection Method

I setup my DSLR camera with a 400mm telephoto lens and some solar paper. This is effectively a telescope and the combo allowed for good viewing as well as photos.

Observing Equipment - Astrotrac Pier with Cornado PST and Canon 5d, Solar Paper and 100-400mm Telephoto Lens

I programmed the camera to shoot a picture every few seconds throughout the eclipse. Here’s a photo of the peak taken with the DSLR and solar paper.

Totality of May 20th 2012 Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse of May 20th 2012 Solar Eclipse

And here’s a composite photo of the various phases.

Annular Solar Eclipse of May 20th, 2012

We tore down the gear and then all headed out for a great dinner.

Eclipse Team at Dinner

I highly recommend planning an eclipse trip or an eclipse observing session the next time one comes around. It’s enlightening and lots of fun!

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