Eclipse today

A partial Solar eclipse as viewed from just outside of McChord AFB, Tacoma, WANot often does an event this interesting and somewhat rare come along. Tonight at about 8:10pm PST approximately 30% of the Sun will be covered by the New Moon. Starting yesterday I got excited for the event and wanted to find a way that myself and other could view and photograph it. Starting early this morning Matt Turner and I went out to various thrift, hardware, and convenience stores in search of supplies for staring straight into the Sun. The word for today: mylar. It's a material that's most commonly used for those shiny, helium-filled balloons that grace the skies just slightly above the ground. It also happens to be a material that filters 98% of all light when looking through it. This basically means that only something so brilliant as our Sun can be seen through it. My source for this material came from the unlikely source of the packaging around toaster pastries.

All the rage in eclipse fashionI spent the whole of this afternoon making eclipse glasses for my friends. I traced, taped, snipped, and folded for most of the hours of the afternoon and finally came out with the totally cool eyewear shown here. Hey, they worked.

The eclipse itself was great. Sarah, Aaron, Matt and I watched as a little bite out of the upper right-hand of the Sun became a large section taken out from the Sun. My digital camera was set up on a tripod for most of the night and I used the innards of a 3.5" floppy disk as my filter. It yielded very useful shots (as you can see in the animated GIF above). I'm glad I was aware of the eclipse tonight. It's easy to overlook something as simple as this in our everyday lives. It was all, frankly, totally unnoticable to anyone not in the know when it comes to astronomical events. To me it was just something that reminds me how dynamic and awe-inspiring our universe can be.

Mylar to use as solar eclipse filters

Our sweet headgear

Eclipse pinholes through the trees

posted Jul 30, 2000 under astronomy, solar eclipse, tacoma  

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