Monday, May 21, 2012

Annular Solar Eclipse

Maya, Elsa and I drove to Pleasanton, from where we carpooled with Sudhir and his family to Reno. When we got to the Univ. of Nevada, the grassy are was replete with a wide variety of viewing instruments, ranging from a pinhole camera kit, through home made wooden binocular stands to 8" telescopes with motors and computerized drives. A very large number of people had shown unprepared and queued up for the solar viewing glasses that someone was selling for $10 apiece. Just for comparison, the #14 welders' glass cost me $3 apiece.

Inspired by TIEcon2012, I saw a business opportunity and made a hole bunch of money selling pinholes for $5 each (cards not included).

The atmosphere was festive, most people happily sharing their viewers and explaining the construction to others. My 7' long cardboard box, which could have housed a family of four squatters in Mumbai, drew a surprising lot of attention! Here are a few pictures, not very good ones, but perhaps some of the people who I met there will send me copies. Maya and Elsa don't appear in any of the photos because they took full advantage of their unstructured learning opportunity and with their new friends Rukmini and Ila ran around the crowd with their welders' glass and solar viewing glasses.

Woman with eclipses on her face through her straw hat.

View in my pinhole camera, a few minutes after the start

A telescopic projector in which you could see the sunspots.

Der Sonnenteleskop

Photo through #10 welders' glass


My telescope projector. Is that a cloud in the sky?

There were expressions of disappointment all around, but look at how beautiful the cloud is!

15 minutes before maximum.

The cloud moved aside just in time.

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1 comment:

Sidhesh Kaul said...

Great !! Looks like you had fun. Cheers Sid Kaul