One of the highlights of Astronomy (for me) in 2021 was the so-called Annular Eclipse of the Sun on Thursday June 10th 2021. It was only partial for us in Europe, but still exciting!
Start, max. and End (Darmstadt, UTC+2): 11:27 – 12:25 – 13:26
I was eager to capture the full event from start to end, so I set up the equipment 2 days before to test
- Is the spot at my terrace covering all phases?
- are all parts working together as expected?
- can I somehow share the event with planned setup?
It was good to dry test as I was able to address some issues.
What WAS the setup?
- One telescope (ED80 Apo Lens-Telescope)
- Baader Sun foil to filter sunlight
- Attached Canon EOS 5D MK III
- On Celestron Goto Pro Mount/tripod (old beast that I need to get rid of)
- HDMI connection to small Monitor to allow for better focussing than on small camera screen at impossible angle (with sun glare making it even harder)
- Attached to the Telescope above, a Canon EOS 550D with a sun foild as well attached to a 300mm lens (the 600mm would have been too heavy on top of Telescope…and I lacked a suitable foild)
- One Binocluar on a mobile tracking tripod for projecting the sun on a while A3 sized paper
Wednesday evening I needed to ensure that I will be able to activate the setup quickly in a small meeting break that I had. It was a challenge, but I managed….just being 1 minute late for the start (argh…..).
I then let the interval timer take photos on the Telescope (EOS 5D) every 10 seconds to get a sequence of photos for a later animation.
Did all work?
Pretty much. I took plenty of photos, even the videos on Camera two have some time ranges where it worked okay, but…at the maximum of eclipse, some clouds blocked the view! a fewn minutes later I managed some photos thru clouds but it was still a but upsetting.
In general, the alignment (orientation of the tripods towards exact north) was not perfect so the sun moved out of the screen every 15 minutes or so, despite tracking and single object alignment.
It was still fun todo and I will share the animation as soon I have generated it….I have – check out the right side!! – here a video, below (download)
11:28: Slight dent top right on first image, indicating the beginning
11:57: Projection looks great
11:57: Monitoring thru the telescope
11:59: Mobile phone with sun foil glasses attached… surprisingly worked well, too!
12:27: A cloud just had to block the view during maximum….this is the first usable slide after it.
12:33: First clean photo after maximum and clouds
13:26: Last moment, seconds before the event is over. Check the tiny dent top left – bad focus due to heavy equipment pulling focuser out a bit over time