Monday, 30 December 2019

Annular Solar Eclipse Boxing day 2019

Dec 26 2019 -  Watching a celestial ring in formation.

2016 we had a partial solar eclipse and I remembered taking images using Nikon Cool pix P900 with a glued-on solar film which turns out to be not bad.  This year I had upgraded to the big brother - Nikon p1000 with a Thousand Oak screwed on filter ordered online. The company is from Israel.
P1000 +  Solar filter screw-on thread + gimbal 

Ideally should be at the center line to see the balanced ring and longer time at MAX.  Singapore is not too bad. I stayed at the north so have to move to the Mariana Barrage in the South.  - Map courtesy of

So this is the first time i go to see an annular ring around the sun. As the diagram suggested the best places were Southern Singapore. Marina Barrage on the kite flying Rooftop. We placed our tripods on the outer reach sea-facing side. Behind me not far away were the 2nd lines of telescope and tortilla of scopes and crowds towards the other side.

The setup is simple - P1000 sitting on a $187 carbon fibre gimbal  on the tripod. While there is no fine x-y adjustment i find it just adequate to reach 65 highest elevation sun. A cheapo $10 cable release cable and me as intervalometer  on this un-tracked setup.  The idea is to fixed one zoom 1500mm and the other at 2200mm ( for rings details). P900 was sitting next to me on a tripod shorter than my height. It was neglected save for a few consolatory taps on her shutter button there.
Small bite appears on 1 o'clock 

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Somewhere near 11:28  someone shouted " First Contact "  and the game begins.

As the moon's shadow moving across the sun we were eagerly awaiting the Ultimate phase - the thin ring of fire.  It was not the equal thickness as we are still a distance away from the center-line of the moon shadows.
Closing Ring Note the breaks in the terminal

The GOAL - the ring is CLOSED
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Restoring receding moon shadow
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By 3:30 we packed up. The mission is accomplished. The system works well. x1 fresh change of p1000 batteries. And my hands are toasted under the UV sun.
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