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How are you preparing for the total eclipse?

ATM astrophotography
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56 replies to this topic

#1 Ed Jones

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 10:38 AM

Starting to think about what I need for the upcoming eclipse.  I thought I'd use one of my Dob rocker boxes and make a holder for at least 2 or 3 small telescope/cameras.  An equatorial platform it will need to be reset at least once.  I also need to figure out how to not be fiddling with the cameras too much and actually observe totality.  Any suggestions on the latter?



#2 Benach

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 10:56 AM

Is this your first eclipse Ed? Then don't waste your time on photographing it. Just watch it with a small scope and a low magnification (about 20x) and a FOV of about 1.5 degrees and you're more than satisfied. The thing that is by far the most interesting imho is the combination of corona and protuberances. Especially the corona has such a huge dynamic range that it is almost impossible to photograph well, especially for the first time.


Edited by Benach, 01 May 2017 - 10:58 AM.

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#3 The_Pantocrator

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 11:07 AM

I have planned a multi-day trip from NY down to Tennessee. 

 

For 2+ minutes of totality, I just plan on watching and taking in the sight with the good old analog detectors the Universe blessed me with.



#4 PirateMike

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 11:08 AM

I'm fluffing up my pillows for a nice afternoon nap. lol.gif



#5 Ed Jones

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 11:24 AM

It's my 3rd total eclipse but still want as much actual viewing time as I can.  Do they make a shutter control that allows a pre-programed series of exposures?



#6 bobzeq25

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 11:28 AM

Starting to think about what I need for the upcoming eclipse.  I thought I'd use one of my Dob rocker boxes and make a holder for at least 2 or 3 small telescope/cameras.  An equatorial platform it will need to be reset at least once.  I also need to figure out how to not be fiddling with the cameras too much and actually observe totality.  Any suggestions on the latter?

Lining up housing/transportation is the first requirement.

 

I think the key to photographing is automation, in one way or another.  Practicing simulations like astronauts and airline pilots do.  There are elaborate solutions to automating eclipse photography optimally.  But this basic device can also work.

 

https://www.amazon.c...r/dp/B00N3JQSJW

 

And, most of all, being programmed yourself to throw photography overboard if anything goes wrong.  Trying to fix something during totality would be silly.


Edited by bobzeq25, 01 May 2017 - 11:31 AM.

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#7 Benach

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 11:33 AM

Ed: I know that some people just shoot a huge bracket of all the possible settings of their camera (till about 1s exposure time) which they later add to a good image. They do not practise on site or in advance, but select the best images afterwards.


Edited by Benach, 01 May 2017 - 11:33 AM.


#8 kfiscus

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 12:26 PM

Lists- making lists of things to do, to take, to have other people take care of, etc.

 

I know that some cameras can be programmed to shoot your whole planned sequence without you.  Good luck.


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#9 ccaissie

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 12:29 PM

Ice axe, Crampons, rope, climbing partner..... thinking either Grand Teton or Gannett Peak in WY.

 

Oh yeah, binoculars with filters and other lightweight optics.


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#10 don clement

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 12:35 PM

Going to Astrocon in Casper  Wyoming https://astrocon2017.astroleague.org/

 

For preparation I am using a Max Bray 5" Mak-cass with Baader filter and Canon T3i camera at prime focus. This setup has worked really well on the  mercury and venus transits, lunar eclipses, and partial solar eclipses in the past. Also working on a Honda CRV  AWD for camping for this trip. The CRV worked  out very well on a trip to Yosemite a few weeks ago. Got 30 MPG on that trip.

 

 IMG_9221_zps3hoh76kt.jpg


Edited by don clement, 01 May 2017 - 02:51 PM.

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#11 jtsenghas

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 12:56 PM

I plan on maker Baader aperture solar filters and preparing a few instruments for low power views in Tennessee with my wife, a neighbor, and the neighbor's aunt who fortunately lives in Tennessee within a mile of maximum totality.

 

I'm crossing my fingers about August weather in Tennessee. It's a lot more likely to be overcast than the westernmost states of this eclipse, but the seven hour drive is at least doable for me.  A campsite in a private field for the rental cost of a few telescopic views appeals to me too. 

 

I'm keeping it simple. I've experienced three partial eclipses, but never totality. Eclipse glasses, small instruments with solar filters, and a good look all around is my plan.  I probably won't image beyond cell phone photos through eyepieces.  I hear the horizon all around glows like a sunset during peak totality and want to focus on experiencing the event, not missing it with my head down.


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#12 wrvond

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 01:02 PM

I'm located outside the corridor, but imagine what displays will still be interesting, so I purchased a glass solar filter for my 10" dob.

Other preparations include:

 

hotdogs

buns

mustard

sauce

cheese

chips

soda

 

That should about do it.  ;)



#13 brave_ulysses

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 01:07 PM

purchased a quark chromosphere and orion st80 for some imaging while i watch...



#14 Bob4BVM

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 01:54 PM

As i said in the other thread, i am lucky since i live smack on the line, near Stayton, Oregon.
As for equipment preps, my recommendation is to skip all that fuss.
There will be a zillion pictures to look at afterwards, taken by people who missed the event while fussing with cameras & scopes.

 

This is a precious two minutes, let the experience soak in.

The best optical equipment for totality are those 2 round things below your forehead.  The corona at totality is huge, no scope will take it in. Not even binocs. For the penumbra stages before & after totality i will have filtered binocs, thats it.

During the eclipse, I might have a video camera running in the background but that's it, i'm not touching any equipment during those once-in-a-lifetime 2 minutes !
 
Location is the only thing i will worry about.  There are countless miles of public roadside accessible where one could stop and enjoy the view.  Which is what i will be prepared to do if it is cloudy where i live...  In Oregon you never know, even August can bring rain, especially if something great is happening in the sky ;-0  

So my only real "preparation" is being ready to drive 2.5 hrs across the Cascades, should the weather go south at homebase. Luckily we have a huge desert on the east side of the state where you can count on clear skies in the summer, if it looks bad here, I will be heading over the mountains in time to be set up lawn chairs along a backroad on the eclipse line.

CS
Bob


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#15 bbbriggs

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 03:01 PM

I got some baader film that I am going to make solar filters for my 20x110 binos.



#16 jtsenghas

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 03:08 PM

Location is the only thing i will worry about.  There are countless miles of public roadside accessible where one could stop and enjoy the view.  Which is what i will be prepared to do if it is cloudy where i live...  In Oregon you never know, even August can bring rain, especially if something great is happening in the sky ;-0  

That's similar to my plan, and I was discussing it with my wife last night.  We plan on arriving early at our planned observation site, but with a full tank of gas and a willingness to take a road trip if necessary.   Tennessee doesn't have nearly the variation of geography that you have and if it is overcast where we are it might be a looong drive to clear skies, but we're willing to give it a shot if necessary.



#17 MitchAlsup

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 04:23 PM

Starting to think about what I need for the upcoming eclipse. 

I listen to "Dark Side of the Moon" daily in preparation.

And a Glass of wine.....


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#18 xrayvizhen

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 04:24 PM

Just booked a flight to Nashville and made a pair of solar binocular filters out of the free cardboard solar "sun glasses" I picked up at NEAF as described by Jerry Oltion in June's S&T. Very nervous about the weather prospects though so I've got a motel booked right at the intersection of Interstates 24, 40 & 65 so I case I have to move one way or another so I can get to hopefully clear skies relatively quickly. That's the only strategy could think of. Still gotta reserve the car though. 


Edited by xrayvizhen, 01 May 2017 - 05:09 PM.


#19 don clement

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 04:31 PM

 

Starting to think about what I need for the upcoming eclipse. 

I listen to "Dark Side of the Moon" daily in preparation.

And a Glass of wine.....

 

 "There is no dark side of the moon" https://www.youtube....h?v=fGS9auPPDsg

 

 

 

 

 

110100100


Edited by don clement, 02 May 2017 - 02:56 PM.

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#20 Gary Fuchs

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 04:46 PM

I also need to figure out how to not be fiddling with the cameras too much and actually observe totality. Any suggestions on the latter?


I haven't done that, and maybe this was mentioned, but if exposure is questionable shooting RAW format should give you the most to deal with afterwards.
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#21 mark cowan

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 04:50 PM

Eyeballs only.  Totality passes right over where I live.



#22 Cajundaddy

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 05:24 PM

I did some testing today with my C90/Baader filter on a Nexstar SLT mount.  Visual solar observing to test alignment and tracking, and a few photos to get some exposure and image size data.  The mount aligned and tracked the sun pretty well.  Not perfect with a "one star" alignment but probably good enough for a time lapse series of short exposure bracketed stills covering a 5 minute span.  Exposure metering worked pretty well at +1 stop but image size is way too big.  I think the C90 is too much focal length for this task so I will be switching to a camera lens in the 400-600 range instead.

 

Attached File  Solar C90.jpg   47.1KB   0 downloads



#23 Cajundaddy

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 05:27 PM

I did some testing today with my C90/Baader filter on a Nexstar SLT mount.  Visual solar observing to test alignment and tracking, and a few photos to get some exposure and image size data.  The mount aligned and tracked the sun pretty well.  Not perfect with a "one star" alignment but probably good enough for a time lapse series of short exposure bracketed stills covering a 5 minute span.  Exposure metering worked pretty well at +1 stop but image size is way too big.  I think the C90 is too much focal length for this task so I will be switching to a camera lens in the 400-600 range instead.

 

Attached File  Solar C90.jpg   47.1KB   0 downloads



#24 PrestonE

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 05:47 PM

Having been to 7 total solar eclipses, I can say with todays technology

it is far easier than back in the days of film...

 

We were able to capture the corona out to 10 solar diameters during

the 30 June 1973 total eclipse of 7+ minutes...

 

The resulting pictures were likely some of the best film pics ever taken,

as my father designed and had Autonetics later Rockwell make a

radial variable density filter that went from much darker in the center to

very lightly filtered or not at all on the outer edges.

 

This allowed very fine details to be seen from the prominces all the way

out to the 10 solar diameters out without over exposing the other areas.

 

This and bracketing those exposures provided an incrediable amount

of data...

 

And as most have said, practice everything with a timer on until you can

do it in the dark...and then automate everything and repeat many times.

 

With this one you barely have 2 minutes.

 

Enjoy it over anything else...

 

Best Regards,

 

Preston


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#25 Ed Jones

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 06:05 PM

I got some solar film in the mail today for binocs, a scope and some viewers and I ordered the Viltrox shutter control Bob mentioned.  So now I need to build a holder for my rocker box.


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