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Advice for a newbie on 2024 eclipse please?

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#1 Vinnyvent84

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 06:22 PM

Hey all,

I’m brand new to astronomy and got my first scope - a Nexstar Evolution 8 SCT. Along with it I got a ASI678MC, StarSense Auto Align Camera and the Celestron Eclipsmart Solar Secure Fit Solar Filter.

I am interested in capturing the Eclipse, I live in Brooklyn NY and will sadly not experience it in totality but about 87%. I really want to capture the eclipse. I know it’s about a 2 hour event start to finish and my camera is designed for Planetary.

Can anyone offer suggestions, advice or tips on how to approach this? Due to the length of the event would I need a guide camera (does that even work for an Alt/Az mount?). Would I be shooting video or taking really fast exposures like on planets? I apologize in advance if these are stupid questions.

Any help or advice would be great based on the equipment I have to work with (also open to making purchases if they aren’t crazy expensive to assist in this process). Thanks!

#2 SporadicGazer

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 06:44 PM

  ...  Any help or advice would be great....

Figure out how to get to Totality.  87% is "meh, sorta' cool".  Totality is the real deal where the "WOW!" occurs.  (You did ask for any advice....)

 

As far as your scope, it is possible because I've seen members of our local club do it, but I have different equipment, and don't do photography, so I can't help with that.  Good luck.


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#3 mogur

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 07:26 PM

87% is like 250 miles from center. Seriously? If you have no transportation I could understand. Sorry you'll miss it. Some of us forget how lucky we are to be able to do it.



#4 Vinnyvent84

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 07:27 PM

Figure out how to get to Totality. 87% is "meh, sorta' cool". Totality is the real deal where the "WOW!" occurs. (You did ask for any advice....)

As far as your scope, it is possible because I've seen members of our local club do it, but I have different equipment, and don't do photography, so I can't help with that. Good luck.


You got me there! lol believe me I wish I could it’s difficult for me to travel. I have a 3 year old boy on the autism spectrum so traveling is not easy to say the least! I would love to see the totality but being my first ever time using a scope I think I’ll appreciate the 87% 😁
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#5 Vinnyvent84

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 07:29 PM

87% is like 250 miles from center. Seriously? If you have no transportation I could understand. Sorry you'll miss it. Some of us forget how lucky we are to be able to do it.


Hey Mogur! It’s not exactly a lack of transport issue, as mentioned to the previous poster I have a 3 year old boy on the autism spectrum and it’s a school / therapy day as well as not easy to travel long distances with him in the car so it makes me limited to appreciated the 87% for what it is lol

#6 SporadicGazer

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 07:42 PM

  ... I wish I could it’s difficult for me to travel. ...

I'm sorry travel is impractical for you.

 

As soon as you get your equipment you can start practicing solar observing and imaging.  There is very little difference between everyday 0% eclipse and the partial phases, you still need protection from the uncovered part of the solar disk.  You should be able to see photosphere features, especially sunspots, with the equipment you mention.

 

On eclipse day tracking the Sun will be the same.  I guess a slight exposure adjustment might be ideal, but I'd guess not much if any, because the unblocked portion remains as bright.


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#7 Vinnyvent84

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 08:13 PM

I'm sorry travel is impractical for you.

 

As soon as you get your equipment you can start practicing solar observing and imaging.  There is very little difference between everyday 0% eclipse and the partial phases, you still need protection from the uncovered part of the solar disk.  You should be able to see photosphere features, especially sunspots, with the equipment you mention.

 

On eclipse day tracking the Sun will be the same.  I guess a slight exposure adjustment might be ideal, but I'd guess not much if any, because the unblocked portion remains as bright.

Thanks SporadicGazer! Thats really good to hear, do you suggest a certain program to capture like sharpcap or firecapture?



#8 SporadicGazer

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 08:22 PM

Thanks SporadicGazer! Thats really good to hear, do you suggest a certain program to capture like sharpcap or firecapture?

I don't image.  I'm just visual.

 

I've heard of both of those and believe they have both been used successfully by imagers.  But instead of my guesses, head over to the "Solar Observing and Imaging" sub-forum and start reading.  I know folks rely on "lucky imaging" where you stack a small percent of the sharpest frames from a short video.  I understand this is similar to what planetary imagers do, but very different than the techniques for deep space objects.



#9 DeepSky Di

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Posted 30 January 2024 - 12:53 AM

Hi Vinnyvent84. I photographed my first eclipse in a party of 3 adults and my then 3 year old. This turned out to be a good ratio. One of the party kept the 3 year old occupied with a totally safe cardboard box over the head eclipse viewer. I used a film SLR and 300mm lens for my first eclipse and a DSLR and 560mm lens for my second (see profile photo). Both times I used a remote control and made sure to look at the eclipse with my eyes during totality. 

 

My eclipse photos are precious, but I would rather see a total eclipse with my own eyes than miss it due to camera issues. This is a lot of new gear for you but the good part is you can practice during the daytime. 

 

I echo everyone else - I hope you can do what it takes to get into the totality. It's a magical and unforgettable experience, nothing like a partial eclipse. 



#10 Vinnyvent84

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Posted 30 January 2024 - 06:25 AM

Hi Vinnyvent84. I photographed my first eclipse in a party of 3 adults and my then 3 year old. This turned out to be a good ratio. One of the party kept the 3 year old occupied with a totally safe cardboard box over the head eclipse viewer. I used a film SLR and 300mm lens for my first eclipse and a DSLR and 560mm lens for my second (see profile photo). Both times I used a remote control and made sure to look at the eclipse with my eyes during totality. 

 

My eclipse photos are precious, but I would rather see a total eclipse with my own eyes than miss it due to camera issues. This is a lot of new gear for you but the good part is you can practice during the daytime. 

 

I echo everyone else - I hope you can do what it takes to get into the totality. It's a magical and unforgettable experience, nothing like a partial eclipse. 

Thank you DeepSky Di! That sounded graet and excellent advice like the rest mentioned as well. I actually am looking forward to practicing, especially since I won't have to worry about my local LP and seeing so much. Just waiting for the darn clouds to go away!



#11 SteveInNZ

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Posted 30 January 2024 - 02:37 PM

I think that it's been established that totality would be ideal but it's just not going to happen.

So make the most of what you will get.

You'll notice a change in the light, so look around. It will be subtle but noticeable.

See if you can get some eclipse glasses to watch progress directly.

Your camera scope combo might be too much to capture the full solar disc on a single frame. One option would be to build up a mosaic. That will take time and the moon will be moving as you go so you'll want to plan how you'll manage that.

Another option is to take detail shots of sunspot regions with the curve of the moon in the frame. It's not done often but I think that it makes a great shot. It's solar max and there's a lot of spot activity at the moment.

For all intents and purposes, your solar eclipse imaging will be the same as non-eclipse imaging. Have a look in the solar imaging forum for guidance. Practice and get good at it.

You won't need guiding. You'll use bursts of video captured in SER format (just as with moon & planets) with either SharpCap or FireCapture (whichever you prefer). Alt-Az will be fine. Don't forget to cover/remove any scope attachments like finders, etc.

 

Enjoy.

 

Steve.



#12 kfiscus

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Posted 30 January 2024 - 06:24 PM

If you miss this eclipse, it's a 20-year wait until you get another in the contiguous 48.  250 miles is a much too-close miss to accept.  Partials are a dime-a-dozen, even 87%.  There's a reason totals are often the #1 item on wealthy peoples' bucket lists.



#13 SteveInNZ

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Posted 30 January 2024 - 07:15 PM

But there's also that place called "The rest of the world" and an eclipse every 18 months or so.

Life, circumstances and opportunities change. When things line up better, don't restrict yourself to the neighborhood. Get out there and experience it.

 

If it weren't for eclipses, we might never have slept the night on the great wall of China, dived the Great Barrier Reef, seen the lava flow into the sea on Hawaii or seen as much of USA as we have. We live in New Zealand and are far from rich. But we'd rather experience aurora for example, than have nice new carpet. To each their own I guess. I've never been to a funeral where someone said "Bert had nice carpet".

 

Steve.


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#14 Bigred77

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Posted 30 January 2024 - 10:24 PM

Great post
I never knew you could spend the night on the great wall. I gotta look into that

#15 Stllrr

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Posted 31 January 2024 - 03:03 AM

The full sun won't fit with your setup, you're gonna want to use your 25mm eyepiece with a camera. I used my iPhone last eclipse and I had 88% coverage (I have some images in my gallery) it was still cool...this year I only have 50%, I have family in Arkansas...been thinking about making the drive from California, hopefully my Lunt 50 arrives in time.

 

You can use this site for visual or imaging...input your equipment and it will show you the FOV, you can make the sun one of the targets.

 

https://astronomy.to.../field_of_view/

 


Im not sure on a guide camera, I don't think it would work...you might fry your sensor unless you have a solar filter for your guidescope. Just make sure all your location and time info is correct, do a 1 star alignment to the sun, and put your tracking rate to solar, it will do good! My Alt/Az 8se was tracking excellent during the October eclipse.



#16 Cajundaddy

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Posted 03 February 2024 - 02:30 PM

Ahhh, too bad you don't have family or a support system that could step in and offer childcare for a day so you could travel to totality.  I still enjoy the partial eclipse but in comparison, a 4 minute totality is like spending a weekend in Bali with Jennifer Lawrence (substitute your own fantasy) vs 87% partial = kissing your sister.  An exponentially different experience.

Life is short, make the most of every day!


Edited by Cajundaddy, 03 February 2024 - 05:20 PM.

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