S T A R * P O I N T S

25 December, 2000
Partial Solar Eclipse
viewed from
New Windsor, Maryland

The eclipse was partial with the umbral shadow of the moon passing over the earth's north pole. In Baltimore, Maryland, the eclipse events were as follows, according to Fred Espenak of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC):

First ContactMaximum EclipseLast Contact
11:04 a.m. EST 12:42 p.m. EST
42.5% obscuration
eclipse magnitude 0.541
02:16 p.m. EST
3 hour 12 minute duration

All photographs are by the author.

[outside set-up]

Two instruments were set up on the deck:

  1. Coulter Odyssey 8" f/4.5 Dobsonian telescope (orange tube) stopped down to a 4" aperture and fitted with a 4" Thousand Oaks Type II glass solar filter. This type of filter blocks 99.999% of the solar radiation.
  2. A pair of Trashco (e.g. Tasco) 7x35 binoculars are mounted on a binocular tripod built by Ron Smith from pine wood. A cardboard shield has been placed at the objective end. An aluminum screen, composed of scrap material left over from an observatory dome refurbishing project, is supported on a 3 foot cane pole.
Notice the image of the partially eclipsed sun on the projection screen.

[inside set-up]

For armchair viewers reluctant to go out into the cold, this pair of tripod mounted Fujinon 10x50's provided a magnified view of the 7x35's projected image on the screen. That way sun spots could be viewed from a relatively far away and warm location.

[screen near 1st contact]

View of the projection screen showing that the eclipse is well under way.

[binos at maximum]

This closeup view of the binocular projection configuration was taken near maximum eclipse.

[screen near maximum]

Closeup image of the projected sun image at maximum eclipse.

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