Partial solar eclipse of Jan 4, 2011 from Central Italy + sunspot

Composite image of the partial solar eclipse of January 4th 2011, as seen from Earth coordinates 42.345082, 14.171832. (Chieti, central Italy)


You definitely want to view on black.


Equipment used:

- Canon EOS 350D

- Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3

- Hoya R72 (infrared cutoff: 720 nm)

- Brandless circular polarizer (used as a N.D. filter)


These shots were all taken handheld in manual mode with the lens at 200mm. The difference in exposure was due to different parameters used, ranging from f/18 to f/40 and from 1/500" to 1/4000". Obviously, all were taken at ISO 100.


The shots were manually cropped to 100% — hence the misalignment, my bad — and the channels' levels tweaked to restore a sense of yellowness.


Fig. 7 is the moment of maximum elicpse, about 0.60.

Fig. 16 was taken at around the same time as fig. 6, with the CPL filter but without the R72. There was still enough light to overexpose the sensor even at 1/4000" at f/40. Note that I even underexposed fig. 16 about two stops and tweaked it a little bit as I shot it RAW.


I was very surprised when I saw that I had captured a sun spot on the surface of our beautiful star. It is on its left half, slightly above the center. At first I thought it was sensor dust, but it's consistent in all subsequent shots (minus those where the moon is in the way, of course), even when the sun itself was in a different area of the frame. Not bad for a 200mm lens, is it?


More details about the eclipse can be found on this page by NASA.


Interesting trivia: while sunlight never diminished to the point of being particularly noticeable (someone unaware of the eclipse would have just assumed that the sky was veiled with thin clouds), temperature dropped. The eclipse began shortly after sunrise, and the air started getting warmer. However, at the moment of maximum eclipse (9:10 local time), air temperature started to fall, as recorded by the weather station maintained by my friend Davide of Chieti Meteo (see the first comment.)


Released under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license. If you use this image, I'd appreciate being told about it. :)


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Taken on January 4, 2011