Monday, May 21, 2012

Annular Eclipse - May 20th, 2012


The teens and I left Grand Junction a bit late. We picked up supplies for our pin-hole viewers at City Market and then headed out towards the Saddlehorn Picnic Area near the Visitor's Center of The Colorado National Monument. One teen drew two inch squares in the center of the foam plates as we rode blasting out The Beatles from the girl's cell phone on the stereo, all of us laughing at their teen humor.

We arrived at the viewing location around 6:40pm. The eclipse had just begun. There were nearly 400 people at the site, which is also where Grand Junction has its Easter sunrise services. Above you can see the first look at the sun (with the moon covering the upper right corner of the projected image of the sun) using one of our pin-hole viewers.

Some other folks created the perfect solar viewer using binoculars and a sheet of paperboard. Others discovered they could elicit images of the eclipse by making small openings between their fingers. The view of the eclipse using both methods at 7:24pm.


This picture was taken through a welding mask. With the naked eye the view was perfect. (You should not using anything less than #14 welding glasses to view the sun or an eclipse - the easiest to find are between #5-#10, but those are not safe for solar viewing). The glare was too much for the cell phone camera to handle, but I still thought that it was a pretty cool picture.

Looking southeast over The Colorado National Monument just before the maximum stage of the eclipse.


 Click here for a short news clip about the eclipse watching scene in GJ from from KJCT Channel 8.