Tag : partial-solar-eclipse

Partial Solar Eclipse 10th June 2021

After days of hot and sunny and cloudless skies of course on the day of the solar eclipse it was nearly 100% cloud cover. I nearly didn’t even both opening the observatory roof. But I still did and it wasn’t until about 11.30am that the clouds started to clear. The actual partial solar eclipse was scheduled to end in the UK around 12.30pm.

My mount was not aligned or ready to slew to point me at the Sun, so it was a matter of loosening the mount clutches and moving the scope around until I found the Sun in the eyepiece I had attached.

I performed all my imaging using a homemade Mylar solar sheet that I had turned into a cover for the end of my Altair Astro 80mm triplet telescope. I also added a Williams Optics 0.8x flatenner, some extension tubes and of course the ASI120 MM camera. See my other post for more information and images of my set up.

I used Firecapture software to capture my video and it took me a while to get the settings perfect (as well as the focus) as the lingering clouds were messing things up for me.

Here are the settings I ended up using:

File type=AVI
FPS (avg.)=27
Gain=8 (8%)

This was with no UV/IR or Solar Continuum filters.

I wanted to grab as many frames as possible in each video, but  I was worried about getting too many and bringing blur into the final image. I finished off with about 20 videos with the solar eclipse at different stages.

After bringing the video files indoors I used a mixture of AutoStakert and GIMP to give the images some false colour as all my images were in mono from the mono camera.

Partial Solar Eclipse June 2021

Solar Partial Eclipse 2021

Ending of the Partial Solar Eclipse 2021




Preparing for the June Partial Solar Eclipse 2021

Well it’s been a while, but on Sunday I cracked open the observatory shed roof and started to prepare for the partial solar eclipse on 10th June 2021.

I have decided to image the solar eclipse in white light using a solar filter that I previously made. I shall be using my trusty ASI 120MM-S mono camera, The software I am going to use is FireCapture.

Well it took a bit of remembering what to do software wise, regarding EQMOD toolbox, focusers and using FireCapture. I started getting all the camera attached and then finding the sun and then trying to get focus.

It then dawned on me I probably would not get focus as the camera was too close to the focuser. It then took me a while to hunt for some extension tubes with the correct adaptors and then try again. Finally I managed to get focus but found out the Sun was too large when using the 80mm triplet telescope to fit on the screen/chip.

Back I go indoors to find out what focal reducers I had. I had a 0.8x Williams Optics focal reducer so used that, and then had to get the correct adaptors again to make it all join together.

Now the Sun just fits onto the chip of the ASI120MM-S.

I remembered all the problems of trying to focus and see the actual screen of the computer when the sunny sky is above your head. It was a lot better to go indoors and remotely connect to the observatory PC and view the screen indoors.

But that’s only half the story it was then time to try and work FireCapture. I ended up recording in SER format. Which I don’t like as the video seemed a bit grainy. I shall change to AVI format next time. I brought the video  into the house and used Registax 6 to stack it and then GIMP to add some false colour to the final image.

The Sun 5th June 2021

Here’s the setup I’m going with:

Partial Solar Eclipse Setup Partial Solar Eclipse Setup

Shown in the images:

  • Williams Optics x0.8 Focal Reducer/Flattener
  • 2x small extension tubes
  • T2 to 1.25″ converter
  • ASI 120MM-S camera
  • Altair Astro 80mm triplet telescope


Partial Solar Eclipse Image on Stargazing Live

As my previous post mentioned I was amazed to see my partial solar eclipse included at the end of the BBC Look East TV News programme. Mainly because there were so many good images taken by those people who did not get clouded out.

I also sent my image in to the BBC Stargazing Live team, but without any hope of it being shown, as they too had shown some really good images over the 3 episodes.

But when Brian Cox showed just 3 partial solar eclipse images and one of them was mine I was totally amazed, and I even laughed and cheered out loud.

So luckily I was recording the programme, so I have edited that piece out and placed the clip of my partial lunar eclipse images from BBC Stargazing Live on YouTube for you all to watch:

Partial Solar Eclipse Image on Look East TV News

The day of the partial solar eclipse I emailed my photos to various TV channels and web sites. One of those was the local Look East News on BBC1. Most people you send images to do not reply and tell you it is included the programme so you have to just watch and record the programmes in the hope of your image appearing.

I thought it was going to be difficult this year to get my image on TV, as there were a lot of very good partial solar eclipse images taken with a lot of interesting backgrounds, whereas mine was just of the Sun itself.

But I was amazed to see that at the end of Look East they showed a number of images and my image of the partial solar eclipse was included.

So luckily I recorded it, edited it and put it the partial solar eclipse video on YouTube for you all to watch:

Partial Solar Eclipse Images

I was expecting this morning to be cloudy in Cambridgeshire today, but amazingly the skies started to clear at around 8.30am. I then just had to wait for the Sun to appear from behind the house that backs onto mine, as I was in my back bedroom with the window open taking the photos of the solar eclipse.

Partial Solar Eclipse 4th Jan 2010
I took these images with my Canon 550d with my 300mm lens on a tripod with a remote cable. I also used my homemade solar camera filter.

The images are not that great, but I did like the one that had cloud bands along it which looked a bit like Jupiter.

As the eclipse ended the cloud then came back and it was time to pack away.

Partial Solar Eclipse 4th Jan 2010