First Off, An Apology
I want to apologize for being rather remiss in my upkeep of this blog. Since my last post a lot of things have happened for me — all good — which left me over committed. I am working on a major project that required me to learn new computer graphic technologies that I have never done before. Also, I have received numerous requests to publish some of my work which required my attention as well. I will strive to keep current posts coming as I continue spread myself a tad bit too thin.
Coming in May 2012, A Rare Opportunity
Now I am not an astronomer, nor a scientist, at any level so keep that in mind as you read this post. I do, as does Deb, enjoy amateur astronomy though and we try to follow or view most astronomical events as time permits. As such, there is an upcoming event that we are excited about along with the photographic possibilities that come along with it.
The event is a solar eclipse — an annular solar eclipse to be exact. (From Wikipedia.org: “An annular eclipse occurs when the Sun and Moon are exactly in line, but the apparent size of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun. Hence the Sun appears as a very bright ring, or annulus, surrounding the outline of the Moon.”) It will happen on May 20, 2012.
Having never photographed during an eclipse event, I am curious about what opportunities might exist so we are committed to being in place to see the eclipse somewhere track side. As good as the map on the NASA web site is, it didn’t speak to traffic volumes on the various subdivisions that I am not versed with so I opted to make a map specifically for my research efforts.
I took the eclipse trajectory datum and overlaid it on a map of the railroads with line size denoting traffic levels, which I got from the FRA web site, and then placed that on top of a geographic representation of the western states. Click on the map below and you too can use the map for your planning efforts as well.
There are precautions and requisite equipment required to not only photograph the event but also to protect the health of your eyesight so use the NASA web site as a starting point to do your research and gain an appreciation of, not only the risks, but also the rewards of photographing the event. (You can click on the web graphic on the right to open the NASA web site in a new window.)
We are presently planning our adventure so I don’t know where exactly we will be but we will be somewhere shooting video and photos — of that you can be certain.
(If any of you have experience in photographing an eclipse or during an eclipse feel free to give me your story and/or recommendations. Thanks!)
REMEMBER: Do not attempt to observe the partial or annular phases of any eclipse with the naked eye. Failure to use appropriate filtration may result in permanent eye damage or blindness!