July 30, 2008 www.spaceweather.com supplied the following information:
This Friday, August 1st, millions of people in China will witness a well-publicized total eclipse of the sun. Less widely reported, however, is the partial eclipse, which billions of people across three continents can observe and enjoy.

I did not go to China but witnessed the eclipse from my observatory in The Netherlands.
I was lucky and had only a few passing clouds, so I was able to capture almost the whole sequence: at maximum a fat cloud eclipsed the eclipse alas.

Here is the setup I used: note the Sun-and-Moon looking down from the opened roof of my observatory.

Coronado PST with Televue 2.5 Powermate and Vesta SC3 b/w raw webcam mounted on double piggy back platform ; William Optics Zenithstar 80 ED II APO with standard ToUcam Webcam operating with 0.6 Mogg Focal reducer and a stacked Baader Infra Red Blocking Filter/Baader Contrast Booster combo [to get the whole Sun in my FOV] and this whole assembly piggybacked on my Meade LX200 mounted on a wedge and pier.

Same setup as above, but from a different angle, with the double piggy back platform very well visible.

The following black/white images were all captured with my William Optics Zenithstar 80 ED II APO with standard ToUcam Webcam operating with 0.6 Mogg Focal reducer
and a stacked Baader Infra Red Blocking Filter/Baader Contrast Booster combo [to get the whole Sun in my FOV]
Meade LX200 with piggyback rail.
And a simple home made Baader Solar Filter

Here are the individual images but I also made an of this partial eclipse.

08:39 UT 08:41 UT 08:43 UT 08:45 UT
08:47 UT 08:49 UT 08:51 UT 08:53 UT
08:57 UT 08:59 UT 09:01 UT 09:03 UT
09:05 UT 09:07 UT 09:09 UT 09:11 UT
09:13 UT 09:15 UT 09:17 UT 09:19 UT
09:21 UT 09:23 UT 09:25 UT 09:34 UT - hiccup caused by clouds
09:36 UT 09:38 UT 09:40 UT 09:42 UT
09:44 UT 09:46 UT 09:49 UT 09:51 UT
09:53 UT 09:56 UT 09:57 UT 09:59 UT
10:01 UT 10:03 UT 10:05 UT 10:08 UT
10:11 UT 10:13 UT 10:14 UT

Based on the above images I have made the following anmiation:


August 1, 2008 08:39 - 10:14 UT.
This animation was made from individual images which were loaded into K3CCDTools and then exported as a GIF file.
Click the thumbnail version to view the full size animation (file size 4.6 Mb)


August 1, 2008 08:47 UT.
NOT the ISS, but a bird transiting the eclipsed sun ...
Click the thumbnail version to view the full size animation (file size 475 Kb)

Here is the Ha image I captured with my Coronado PST setup [see above for details] 5 minutes after 'le moment supreme' ...


August 1, 2008 09:32 UT.
Imaging: Coronado PST piggybacked on LX200 with Televue Powermate 2.5x and Philips Vesta SC3a B/W webcam, Baader Infrared Blocking Filter.


Solar Eclipse Imaging and Post-processing Tutorial [so that I too will remember how and what I did ...]

The image captured with the Coronado PST was imaged and post-processed as described in my Sun in Ha: Webcam Imaging and Post Processing Tutorial

Imaging the b/w images:
William Optics Zenithstar 80 ED II APO with standard ToUcam Webcam operating with 0.6 Mogg Focal reducer and a stacked Baader Infra Red Blocking Filter/Baader Contrast Booster stacked combo [stacked: to put the 0.6FR at the proper distance from the ToUcam CCD in order to get the whole Sun in my FOV]

43 AVI's [30 seconds @ 10 fps] were captured with the help of the Interval Timer of K3CCDTools:

Camera settings:

During imaging I used the reticles of K3CCDTools to verify that the sun remained nicely centred in the image during the whole imaging session.

Postprocessing of the b/w images:

  1. Aligning and Stacking in Registax in Auto mode, no wavelets were applied; saved as PNGs.
  2. Cropping: via the Batch function of Irfanview, saved as JPGs.
  3. Framing and positioning: in Photoshop I prepared a frame template and used the Grid function in Photoshop to position the Sun where I wanted it to be. As after a while my eyes got weary of the Grid I used Post-It labels on the laptop screen as placeholders.
  4. Per image I also supplied the correct time in UT and each image was save as a PSD.
  5. Through Irfanview Batch I converted the completed PSDs into JPGs and also resized.
  6. The animations were made in K3CCDTools: I loaded the JPGs into K3CCDTools and saved as GIF files (both the full and thumbnail sizes)
  7. For the collage I wrote a simple piece of HTML and with the images nicely lined up on my laptop screen I used screendump [PrtSc] to copy to the Clipboard and Irfanview to paste and store the collage.