Kerry K. Kuehn

Total Solar Eclipse

Below are some photos of the Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017, which were taken at Magnolia Hollow Conservation Area, 10 miles north of Ste. Genevieve along the Mississippi River (GPS coordinates N38deg02.4sec, W90deg08.7sec). The weather was partly cloudy leading up to totality, but the weather cleared during totality and remained excellent until the end of the eclipse. Totality was amazing, and it lasted about 2 minutes and 39 seconds.

The first photo below shows Aaron Schindler and me with our telescope at Magnolia Hollow.


A few more details: For the photos below, I used a Canon EOS Rebel T2i attached with a T-adapter to the back of a Celestron 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. I inserted a Celestron reducer/corrector lens between the telescope and the T-adapter to increase the field of view. I purchased an 8-inch piece of solar filter paper, which I framed with mat board. I used electrical tape to fix four small magnets around the rim of the telescope. I then fixed four similar magnets to the mat board framing the filter paper. This allowed me to quickly and easily snap the filter on to (and off of) the telescope during viewing.

During the week before the eclipse, I spent several hours practicing taking pictures of the sun so that I was (somewhat) proficient at training the scope on the sun and using reasonable shutter speed settings. The hardest thing during the eclipse was keeping the scope trained on the sun, since (1) I did not have the telescope motor powered up; (2) even if I did, my polar alignment of the scope was not very good (my cell phone compass was not working due to poor cell coverage), and (3) the cloud cover made the sun appear and disappear frequently, making it difficult to keep the scope trained on the sun. Nevertheless, we were able to get some pretty nice photos.

The next photo (below) was taken a half hour (or so) before totality. Notice the visible sunspots on the lower left side of the sun. The sunspots are also visible in the subsequent photo. ISO 3200; 1/2500 shutter speed. Solar filter.


Below: Light cloud cover obscured the sun before totality. ISO 3200; 1/2000 shutter speed.


Below: A few minutes before totality. ISO 3200; 1/1250 shutter speed.


Total eclipse. I removed the solar filter from the telescope and took the photo below with a shutter speed of 1/500 sec.


Below: Again, with no filter. 1/800 sec. shutter speed.


Below: The moment that totality ends. No filter. Shutter speed 1/800 sec.


Below: a bit after totality. Shutter speed 1/1250 sec.


Below: notice the visible sunspots. 1/2000 shutter speed.


Below is one final photo which shows a wider field of view during totality. For this shot, I used my Nikon OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds digital camera with a 40-150 mm lens. The sun is in the constellation Leo, and you can (faintly) see Regulus, the brightest star in Leo, about two sun diameters to the left of the sun.


Okay, one more. The photo below was taken with my Nikon OM-D near the end of the eclipse.


All images copyright Kerry K. Kuehn, 2017.