Friday, August 31, 2007

Eclipse Observing

I know this is a few days late, but what the heck.

Tuesday morning's eclipse is now a few days past. It was a really great show, especially out over Lake Michigan.

My brother and I left around 4.30am to get to Grand Haven pier, in order to have a nice, flat horizon in which to see the eclipse. Plus, I had a thought about some great photo opportunities.

We had to walk about a half-mile from where we parked to the pier (because there are closed gates all over the place at night - you would think they were trying to keep people out), and just as we got to the beach the moon because fully immersed in the umbra of the Earth's shadow. It was a darker eclipse than I had seen in previous years, and the cameras came out. While we were shooting, there were some interesting side notes.

We weren't the only ones there. There were other people on the pier to see the eclipse, and some of them had cameras. We talked with one woman for quite a while, and she was hoping to get some nice images. She was from the Grand Rapids area, and had been to the observatory years ago, and promised she would be going out there again.

I also ran into Steve, who has been a frequent visitor to the observatory in the past few months. He had thought the pier would be an excellent place to see the eclipse, so he came out to hang out on the beach. I spent a little time explaining eclipse physics to him, and hopefully he came away with some good information.

As it got lighter I wanted an image of the moon next to the lighthouse, so I left my brother and walked out past the one lighthouse to the end of the pier. There, I was able to get a shot of the fully-eclipsed moon - which was dimming in the rising light of morning twilight - next to the lighthouse. I then turned around and shot the bigger lighthouse bathed in the glow of said twilight. I could even see Venus low in the eastern sky through the thin clouds.

We ended up leaving around 7.15, since the sun was up and the moon was down. As we walked back to our car, the woman we had been talking to drove by and waved. Hours later, my brother actually ran into her at Meijer, as she was shopping with her kids.

All in all it was a good morning, except I was dog tired all day, and even on Wednesday. Now to hope that the next eclipse, in February, will be clear. But it's Michigan, so...

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Do you ever post the photos you take? I would be interested in seeing them.