Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Solar Eclipse

The astronomers in Boulder set up a series of places for viewing Sunday evening's solar eclipse, something we haven't been able to view in the US since 1994.  We decided to avoid the crowds and do our own thing, but we wanted the eclipse glasses that were being sold as a part of the official viewings.  By the time we got to the planetarium, they were all sold out!  I anticipated this and packed Dave's Grandad's old welding goggles. 

Welding goggles to the rescue!
Our home is too close to the mountains to get a long-lived sunset, and since the eclipse was happening from 6:30-8:15, we wanted to be sure that we didn't miss it behind the mountains.  We drove northeast of Boulder to the Walden Ponds where Dave fly fished for an hour or two, caught some nice fish, then made our way back to the Westy for dinner and eclipse viewing.  It was a very cloudy night, it had rained the night before and the moisture fed some new rain clouds.  Luckily, we had a good 15 minutes of sun during the eclipse where we did some hard-core observing.  We realized that if you wore BOTH of our sunglasses with the goggles ontop, we got the best view of the sun without blinding ourselves. 
The other trick is to focus the tripoded binoculars to show the sun on a sheet of paper.

The sun was never bright enough to do the pinhole trick, but the binoculars really helped us see how far the eclipse was.  That's the moon covering up the sun! 

That cloud kept us from seeing the sun again until it was setting.  It was too cloudy to see if it the moon was covering up a portion of it or not. 

It is so rare to catch this guy smiling for the camera, so I just had to post!

Me enjoying the beautiful sunset!

Sunset at Walden Ponds. 

I got a Subaru, Dave got a VW van ("The Westy") and sold his Saab.
We enjoyed some chicken soup warmed up in the Westy, then headed home.  It was a nice outing before heading back to work this week! 

1 comment:

smitten said...

Great pics of the sunset. I like the shag in the westy.