Solar Eclipse Optic



Complete solar eclipse today (21 August, 2017) in Oregon, just a little south of here. Seattle/Bellevue got 92% eclipse apparently. So, when the sun darkened a bit, I popped out to see. Fantastic day for it, not a cloud anywhere. And we are surrounded by trees, sun just high enough to be peeking through the top branches.

There on driveway, a bunch of people trying to look up at the sun, half blinded. A couple had “eclipse glasses” and one had rigged a pinhole box. But the pinhole was too close to the eyeball, so when she tried to see, she blocked the hole :). All this, while standing half in shadow of a broad leaf tree. I could hear the comments about “not really much to see”, etc.

I wandered down and pointed to the ground, asphalt, and the garage door (white) behind them. There in all its glory was the eclipse for everyone to see. The sun/moon shining through the leaves created myriad pinholes, every one creating a (reversed) image of the eclipse. Against perfect grey or white background. You can clearly see the remaining disk of sun against the moon.

Looking directly was “OK” through the smoked glass, but not really all that interesting. On the other hand, the crescents were all over the ground. It was like being IN the eclipse. WAY better than “eclipse glasses”, pretty cool.

I include shots direct of sun around 10:33 (peak coverage was 10:26), tiny slice out of the side, but could still see the crescents on the road/wall.

I just love how optics is so counter-intuitive sometimes 🙂 🙂

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