Total Solar Eclipse, 14 Nov 2012

Alright, this is for sharing of your observation experience. Or, if you are arranging gatherings, star-gazing expeditions or just want some company to go observing together, you can shout it out here.
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kohjb
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Total Solar Eclipse, 14 Nov 2012

Post by kohjb » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:35 pm

Experienced the Solar Eclipse on 14 Nov 2012 from somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, between Fiji and New Zealand on board a cruise ship called the Celebrity Millenium. It was a trip of a lifetime, and I decided on this approach owing to the eclipse path, giving us a viewing time of about 3 and a half minutes. I was pretty apprehensive at first, since the combination of wind, the rocking of the ship, the wooden decks, are all an unstable platform for photography. The ship had the advantage of manourverability, so cloud and weather was certainly a concern, but not as much as from land. Having been through this, I would highly recommend this option now if a similar opportunity presents itself.

I managed to image the eclipse with a Canon 60D through a William Optics 72mm F/6 fluorite refractor. A first for me was being able to capture some prominences during 2nd contact. Previous attempts were either of insufficient resolution or unfocused. Unfortunately, I was so busy trying to capture the corona, thinking that 3.5 minutes was a lot of time, that I totally missed 3rd contact. But all in all, I was very pleased with the results. I kept all my shutter speeds to above 1/500 and just increased the ISO from 100 to 800+ where needed. Here's a preliminary photo and will upload more when I have processed them and have access to a better internet connection!

Best regards!
Joo Beng.
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kochu
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Re: Total Solar Eclipse, 14 Nov 2012

Post by kochu » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:50 pm

Hi Joo Beng,

Must be a great experience. The view of prominence is spectacular.
Rgds

Kochu

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Re: Total Solar Eclipse, 14 Nov 2012

Post by yltansg » Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:56 pm

Hi Joo Beng,

Wow [smilie=admire.gif]

I thought that the corona will mask the prominences. Now I know :)

Alfred

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Re: Total Solar Eclipse, 14 Nov 2012

Post by Gary » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:10 pm

Awesome!!!!! Thanks for sharing. Started planning for 2015? :)
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Re: Total Solar Eclipse, 14 Nov 2012

Post by starfinder » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:12 pm

Very nice photos Joo Beng, esp the one showing prominences and the corona!

Since most who have witnessed totality have done so from land only, could you describe how different or similar the eclipse experience was at sea? For example, as there would have been no obstruction all round down to the horizon, did you manage to see the shadow of the Earth approaching or receding? I recall that when I saw totality in Turkey in March 2006, I did not see the dark shadow approaching: I think the view was obstructed or it happened too quickly. There is just so much to do and look out for in the final few frantic minutes before totality: both visual and photography wise!

Also, out of curiosity, were announcements made about manouvers taken by the ship to avoid clouds? e.g. "Dear eclipse chasers, as you can see from the satellite images displayed on the monitors, there is a large cloud system at our original intended viewing location, but not to worry, we will simply sail to a cloudless spot 50km away in time for totality." I'm sure all that would have added to the drama of the experience!

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Re: Total Solar Eclipse, 14 Nov 2012

Post by kohjb » Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:47 am

Thanks Gavin,

Yes, an eclipse out on the open ocean is probably quite different, though maybe not better than from a flat desert since the view is bounded by the superstructure of the ship. And we were not very high up - about 11 floors, but still could not discern the approaching shadow. It just got rapidly dark though a friend did say he could track the shadow's approach by looking at the darkening clouds in the distance. I think to see the shadow on the ground, we'd probably need to be much higher up.

This cruise was very well coordinated. The Travelquest group had also booked this trip, so we had some experts on board and they worked with the Captain to plot the path of the ship, the orientation, speed, and also the weather forecasts in order to select the best location. The end result was pure perfection. We had to literally rush from Fiji at 23 knots (normal is about 17 knots) to get to the path. We got there by 7am, and the eclipse began at 9.10am. The ship was slowed to 7 knots, very manageable from a wind point of view, and sufficient speed that the ship's stabilizers could function properly. The leader of the Travelquest group (Kelly) gave a running commentary over the ship's PA system, so we heard things like "the eclipse has made landfall at Cairns x minutes ago...", etc, including reports of the speed of the shadow, etc. A first for me - the narration really was helpful and added to the excitement!

Best regards!
Joo Beng
starfinder wrote:Very nice photos Joo Beng, esp the one showing prominences and the corona!

Since most who have witnessed totality have done so from land only, could you describe how different or similar the eclipse experience was at sea? For example, as there would have been no obstruction all round down to the horizon, did you manage to see the shadow of the Earth approaching or receding? I recall that when I saw totality in Turkey in March 2006, I did not see the dark shadow approaching: I think the view was obstructed or it happened too quickly. There is just so much to do and look out for in the final few frantic minutes before totality: both visual and photography wise!

Also, out of curiosity, were announcements made about manouvers taken by the ship to avoid clouds? e.g. "Dear eclipse chasers, as you can see from the satellite images displayed on the monitors, there is a large cloud system at our original intended viewing location, but not to worry, we will simply sail to a cloudless spot 50km away in time for totality." I'm sure all that would have added to the drama of the experience!
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Re: Total Solar Eclipse, 14 Nov 2012

Post by superiorstream » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:41 am

Simply spectacular.Thanks Joo Beng for sharing the experiences.

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Re: Total Solar Eclipse, 14 Nov 2012

Post by Airconvent » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:09 pm

Thanks for sharing Joo Beng. Looks great to be able to catch astronomical events around the world! I have yet to see a total eclipse so far. :(
Do post more photos! :)
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Re: Total Solar Eclipse, 14 Nov 2012

Post by weixing » Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:48 am

Hi,
WOW! Nice eclipse image... [smilie=admire.gif]

You shoot on tripod?? Just wonder is the ship moment noticeable when shooting??

Have a nice day.
Yang Weixing
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Re: Total Solar Eclipse, 14 Nov 2012

Post by kohjb » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:16 am

Hi Weixing,

Yes, the ship does "rock" enough that you will definitely notice in an exposure more than about 1/200. Depends on the focal length of course. But for every shot, will need to re-centre before shooting because it goes out of frame in about half a second!

Attached a photo of me and my "rig".

Joo Beng.
weixing wrote:Hi,
WOW! Nice eclipse image... [smilie=admire.gif]

You shoot on tripod?? Just wonder is the ship moment noticeable when shooting??

Have a nice day.
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