Annular Solar Eclipse May 20, 2012
by Adam Esposito • May 20, 2012
Annular Solar Eclipse as seen from ASTRONOMICAL! Members event at Crissy Field Center.
Members of SFAA brought a variety of Solar Telescopes and viewing aides. Weather was clear and very windy.
I set up the Sun Gun, a Solar projection refractor, that was donated to the Exploratorium by Bruce Hegerberger, an amateur astronomer and tinkerer from Georgia.
The wind was shaking the scope a lot at the beginning of the eclipse, but luckily the crowd (>250 people) helped buffer the wind as they crowded around.
Photos from my phone and Gayle Laird. NOTICE the airplane transit in the first picture! Great timing Gayle!
The yellow filter is for increased contrast when viewing sunspots, but unfortunately gives people the wrong impression. It was too late and too hectic to take it out. The image should be white.
Dozens of people also inquired about the Transit of Venus on June 5th. If I'm in town, I will set up the Sun Gun in the same spot.
Potential improvements include: a polar-aligned equitorial mount (vs. alt-az manual), solid frosted glass projection screen to allow tracing (vs. fabric rear projection screen), hands free tracking, smaller footprint to minimize trip hazard.