(Nothing we can do…) a total eclipse of the sun

There’s one type of solar intermittency that we can forecast well into the future. It’s a solar eclipse, and one was visible from parts of Australia for a brief period yesterday morning.

As with the Transit of Venus, many CSIRO staff took the chance to check out and photograph this unusual event. John Smith from CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences got a great shot with his SLR of the maximum eclipse as seen from Brisbane.

Photo: John Smith using Nikon D7000 / Nikkor AF 70-300mm with custom Baader Astrozap filter. That’s one awesomely named filter.

Karl Weber, an engineer who works in CSIRO’s flexible electronics lab, got a different kind of eclipse photo in his Melbourne home. This one shows his son with the sun – a series of crescent-shaped suns, actually – projected through holes in venetian blinds and onto the wall.

Did you realise before now that the ‘dapples’ in dappled light are round only because the sun is round? A partial eclipse helps illuminate this fact.

Here in Newcastle we had grand plans to photograph our solar fields reflecting light from the partially eclipsed sun. Unfortunately, our plans were thwarted by cloud. Check back here on the blog in a few months time – we hope to have more luck when it all happens again in May.


Addendum: Robert Hollow from CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science took some stunningly beautiful photos of the full eclipse. See them and read his description of events in a dedicated post on our sister blog site, News@CSIRO.

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