The path of totality for the 09 March 2016 (UTC) total solar eclipse
(TSE) began at sunrise southwest of Singapore, traversed many islands
in Indonesia including several of those in northern ultara Maluku,
then further east onto Woleai in Micronesia, and after a long traverse
north eastward over the
Pacific Ocean ended at sunset northeast of Hawaii. For TSE 2016,
wanting to have my feet firmly on the ground, I decided to head for the
north Malukas. In particular for, logistical considerations, basing in
Ternate, but observing the eclipse itself on nearby Tidore's southern
coast from the village of Tomalou. There the orthographic cloud
the morning (eclipse time) was anticipated less often impacting than at
volcanic island locations. Duration of totality from our site: 3m
Ten of us left from the port on southeast Ternate by a chartered
speedboat at 5 AM local time on March 9, for an appx one hour trip to
Tomalou. Our eclipse observing site was directly
adjacent to its boat dock by a sea wall, an excellent location we had
on a prior day.
All was very quiet at the Tomalou
waterfront two days before the eclipse.
Our chartered speedboat is seen tied up at the end of the dock.
Most of the extremely friendly and helpful residents of this small
village came out to meet and welcome us and throughout the morning
shared with us the eclipse experience. The trans-cultural
camaraderie and interested excitement was an added bonus to the
clear-blue skies that greeted us in the direction of the Sun over the
water (azimuth 97°, altitude 48° at totality).
For imaging TSE2016 I used two two cameras. The first, for high
resolution imaging of the inner corona, a D810 on a Questar 3.5"
telescope at its ~ 1.4 meter f/16 back focus. This telescope was
on a compact but very sturdy tracking mount constructed to accommodate
specifically the alt/az of the Sun for this essentially equatorial
location. A second D3000 camera was used to image the mid/outer
corona with a 400 mm camera lens with all refractive optics at
f/6.3. The operation of both cameras was fully automated using
Xavier Jubier's 'Solar Eclipse Maestro' for MacOS X on a venerable
MacBook Pro 17" laptop.
Eclipse camera setup
A single integrated script was used (flexible to a range of
different possible totality durations had alternate sites been
needed). In each case constant cadence images at fixed exptime
were taken for a 20 s before and up to C2 and from C3 and beyond.
For the Questar, during totality exposures were ramped to longer
exposure times from 5 ms to 2 s in appx log-normal steps and reversed
to C3. Similarly for the 400 mm camera but from 2.5 ms to 5 s. A
few "extra" long exposures were taken mid-way through
the up and down ramps in both cameras. All exposures with the
Questar f/16 were
at ISO 200, and for the 400 mm f/6.3 were at ISO 800. More
will be provided at a later date. For anyone interested, CLICK HERE
On the morning of the eclipse, from our site on the south coast of
Tidore, the weather could not have been more cooperative and the sky
perfectly clear toward the Sun for totality. The view was spectacular
and the vista as the umbra approached (and later receded) breathtaking.
Here are, for now, just a few pictures...
Time resolved imaging flanking C2
to Glenn Schneider's Home Page
Top 2 rows: six exposures at C2 - 5,
4, 3, 2, 1, and 0 s with 1 frame per second cadence and 1/200 s
Bottom row: C2 +1, +4, +5 s at 1/160, 1/80, 1/60 s exposure times.
Display images (for web presentation) down-sampled to 1/10th
actual pixel sampling (10% original image scale)
see at 2X (20% of actual pixel sampling scale)
INNER-to-OUTER CORONAL COMPOSITE
ON ANY IMAGE BELOW TO SEE AT TWICE THE SIZE
Azimuthal coronal structure from 1 R_sun to ~ 5 R_sun (400 mm EFL
From a subset (11 frames of different exposure times) acquired during
the C2-to-mid-eclipse "ramp-up" exposures.
Top left: Dynamic range compression to collapse the radial median
surface brightness profile.
Top right: Further radial linearization with 50° azimuthal median
rotation kernel subtraction.
Bottom left: Spatial filtering to enhance mid-to-high spatial frequency
Bottom right: Radial linearization plus attenuated mid+high spatial
INNER/MID CORONAL COMPOSITE
Azimuthal structure in the inner corona (1.4 m EFL camera)
From a subset (17 frames of different exposure times) acquires during
the mid-eclipse-to C3 "down" ramp exposures.
Post-processed left-to-right with incrementally "aggressive" spatial
enhance mid-spatial frequency coronal sub-structures.
(Preliminary processing on 8-bit per channel JPG data only, to be
improved later with calibrated RAW frames).
few NON-ECLIPSE PICTURES...
Tomalou early pre-eclipse on eclipse morning - at
the water's edge.
A wonderful place with wonderful people... and a wonderful event!
The last of the overnight
orthographic cloud clearing in the morning.
Totality minus 2.5 hours -- Set
up and ready to go
Schneider with a few locals before the crowd swelled.
Sopean (eclipse shirt) &
Charles Cooper (seated), and Steve Kolodny enjoying the hospitality of
Grandpa Joel Moskowitz -- A hit
with the kids.
As the morning progressed more
ad more people gathered, but with room for all.
Glenn Schneider saying "gerhana
matahari" for the camera.
Keeping cool in the shade before
the eclipse starts.
After the big event...
Adrenaline spent, Catalin Beldea (center) looks really tired.
As our boat readies to leave,
saying goodbye and Terima Kasi to our new friends.