View Full Version : Annular Solar Eclipse - Partial for Chicago - May 20

2012-May-17, 06:45 PM
The solar eclipse of 2012 MAY 20 will be annular for portions of the western USA, but will be partial for Chicagoland. The partial eclipse will begin at 19:22 CDT for Chicago observers. By the time that the Sun sets, its diameter will be 61.5% covered by the Moon.

WARNING: To avoid severe damage to your eyes, do not view the eclipse directly. The projection method is recommended.

Iíve created two preview graphics of the eclipse as viewed from Chicagoís Adler Planetarium. The first is for the beginning of the eclipse, and the second is for shortly before sunset. They can be seen at www.CurtRenz.com/moon

2012-May-19, 05:26 PM
I'm on my way to Kanarraville, Utah for prime viewing and photography.

2012-May-20, 06:21 PM
I live 20 miles south of the centerline and I would have driven to that spot, up the road, but the national park rangers at El Morro Nat'l monument are hosting a public viewing at the top of El Morro bluff inside the park and asked me and the other community college astronomy teacher to help so, we are packing up gear for that event.

We have lots of eclipse shades, a Coronado Max-90II, a small Bushnell reflector with a solar filter, and a neat little solar view-scope that projects a magnified image onto a white surface. 50 pounds of Coronado, tripod, and mount for a 2 mile hike shouldn't be too bad.

I'm off, now, to El Morrow. I'll try and get some decent pictures of the crowd, setup, and the eclipse.

We'll probably do something similar for the Venus transit, also (but not at El Morrow).

2012-May-20, 10:35 PM
Yay! :) We're going to see a 90% eclipse in my area.

I've got my Astroscan 2000 out, have the solar viewer panel (attachment) set up. :D

Fortunately our backyard is situated to the sun (this time of year) where there is least amount of house/tree obstruction; I'm able to see sun until near sunset.

Husband will back his pickup truck onto lawn. Will set Astroscan on tailgate. :)

Can't wait!! :dance:

2012-May-20, 11:45 PM
Yay! :) We're going to see a 90% eclipse in my area.

I've got my Astroscan 2000 out, have the solar viewer panel (attachment) set up. :D

Fortunately our backyard is situated to the sun (this time of year) where there is least amount of house/tree obstruction; I'm able to see sun until near sunset.

Husband will back his pickup truck onto lawn. Will set Astroscan on tailgate. :)

Can't wait!! :dance:

Seventeen minutes to go. :)

An hour ago my husband returned from a meeting ... with a plateful of cookies: Two of them are large round sugar cookies with a flat/glossy orange frosting (the sun), another is a star-shaped sugar cookie with flat/glossy blue frosting. I thought How appropriate! :lol:

I guess someone at the meeting is also in the mood for an eclipse. :p

2012-May-21, 01:17 AM
The forecast was 40% chance of thunderstorms over northwest suburban Chicago. Instead we got a thin layer of clouds through which the Sun could be seen. I was able to view the Moon taking a bite out of the Sun through the projection method. :)

2012-May-21, 01:52 AM
What a wonderous experience.

Here is a very out of focus image, but it gives the general idea...

2012-May-21, 02:24 AM
67% in Minnesota. I was able to see it at the beginning out my living room window, then on my lawn. It slipped behind the trees before it hit maximum.

Van Rijn
2012-May-21, 02:54 AM
There was a pretty good view here. If I got the attachment thing working right, there should be a couple of pictures here of the view of the sunlight going through the leaves of a tree close to a wall of the house, the tree effectively providing lots of pinhole lenses due to the leaves.

A view of the wall:


Here you can see the eclipse on the trunk of the tree itself:


(Click on the thumbnails for the larger pics.) I especially like this picture with the tree. I had made a viewer with a pinhole through aluminum foil, but soon realized the tree was doing a far better job than my aluminum foil viewer. It's a really cool effect to see hundreds of eclipses across a wall.

Tobin Dax
2012-May-21, 03:18 AM
We only had ~40 minutes to see the eclipse. I looked outside around 10 minutes into it and the sky was cloudy.

I live near Chico, Ca...so I don't have to travel at all to view the eclipse. :)

I wish the same could be said for the 2017 total eclipse...:(

Luckily, I think I'll get a good view of that eclipse. :whistle:

2012-May-21, 03:27 AM
Those are beautiful, Van Rijn. :)

I witnessed a similar effect in 1994 when we experienced a nearly annular eclipse in Chicago. While viewing from a skyscraper I saw hundreds of nearly complete rings reflecting off windows onto the street and the buildings across from us.

2012-May-21, 03:56 AM
Yay, it was fun. :D

Oh -- and so beautiful. :)

A curious neighbor (Nick) joined us. He and husband had beers.

My telescope and viewscreen performed flawlessly. A bit tricky getting the Sun in the mirror/through eyepiece, but not too difficult.

The Moon began biting into the Sun around 6:37 p.m. An hour later it was 3/4 covered.

I lay on a fold-out full-length lawn chair in shade of our rock-wall fence, looking up at viewscreen as eclipse progressed. Husband and neighbor closeby. I had to get up and adjust telescope every 5 minutes, due to Sun's movement.

Sun soon in far west. I moved telescope from truck's tailgate to top of metal toolbox.

As Sun sank further in west (by this time near 90% eclipsed), I tried setting up on top of truck cab; then decided to place telescope on rock wall fence at a *perfect* angle.

That gave us 5 more minutes -- at the 90%. By that point the Sun looked like a slender fiery horse-shoe (points up).

Finally, sadly, it began sinking behind a tall leafy tree. Not supposed to do it, but I couldn't resist glancing at that lovely spectacle: A slender fiery horse-shoe Sun glittering behind the leaves. It looked like a scene out of science fiction. :D Husband and neighbor glancing too. We joked about getting on top of a neighbor's house to catch the rest of it. :p

Really, REALLY worth it. The event went too fast.

I also remembered to check the shadows of leaves on house/ground during; sure enough, you can see myriad little "eclipses" via the leaves, cast against ground/house. It's wild. First saw that years ago (photos) at spaceweather.com.

I got quite a workout, lifting/setting telescope here and there, repositioning it, climbing and reclimbing, etc. *happy sigh*

2012-May-21, 04:20 AM
About 40 people showed up at the El Morrow national monument. With the park rangers and 3 other amateur astronomers (including one park service volunteer) there were over 50 people on top of the bluff with clear skies and a perfect view of the western skies.

I'll try and post some pictures tomorrow evening.

Two other amateurs brought their Coronadao PST's. I really couldn't tell much difference between the Max 90 and the PSTs. The filter adjustment is far easier on the PSTs. I did use a 12 mm with a 2X Barlow to zoom in on some prominences and sunspots before the eclipse started and I suppose the Max 90 probably could do a slightly better job of pulling those details, 'in'.

My wife played her flute for the crowd.

2012-May-21, 04:41 AM
Too stormy in Milwaukee where eclipse onset was 64 seconds sooner than Chicago. So I decided to try another Allais experiment. About ten years ago, also a stormy evening, when another partial annular eclipse passed by, I tried an experiment although I was very skeptical about any result but noticed a deflection all the same and wished I had recorded it in video and used multiple pendulla as controls. Often the anomaly is not monitored during an eclipse which suggests that either the deflection is due to purely systematics or there are some as yet unkown parameters not taken into consideration.

This time, I set up 9 pendulla tied to a long overhead pipe. Dead weights were allowed eight hours suspension piror to being set to minimize systematics introduced by twine. Beneath each pendullum a paper was set that had intersecting lines marked at 45 degrees. The heavy marked axis was marked East-West, East-West+10 degrees, East plus 20 degrees, East plus 30 degrees, and so on to where the 9th paper was marked East plus 80 degrees. Using a device that measures angles then each paper was oriented 10 degrees twisted compared to its next neighbor. A minute prior to eclipse onset, 7:21:05 pm local time, all pendulla were set off along their major axis, so that they were swinging back and forth in planes 10 degrees apart.

After eclipse onset, no deflection was seen in the true East-West direction, nor in the Plus 10, 20, or 30 direction. Also no deflection was seen in the nearly North-South Direction, actually ten degrees short of true North-South or East plus 80 degrees, nor was deflection seen in East plus 70. However, deflection was monitored in the plus 40, 50, and plus 60 directions.

I am still not convinced that the deflections can not still be due to systematics even though these systematics did not plague the East-West and North South pendulla. I will repeat experiment in precisley two weeks as required to show that gravity is not likely involved with the deflections. Typically the two week later results are null.

If the deflections were real and not systematic, this would show that the anomaly is constrained to a specific angle range, This could explain how sometimes the anomaly is seen and sometimes not if the penullum is sweeping through an angle where a null result occurs if only one pendullum is being monitored without regard to the plane angle itis sweeping.

Ara Pacis
2012-May-21, 06:16 AM
I forgot about the eclipse until moments before it was scheduled to start. I rushed up to the ridge and realized I hadn't taken my ND filters. So, I tried to use a fast shutter to grab a still, but it was still too bright at 1/1000 sec. :( But the lens flare showed the bight of the eclipse, so I sorta got a photo of it.

2012-Jun-03, 05:10 PM
Follow up with experimental control

309 hours after eclipse, a control experiment was performed to monitor for systenatucs. Note that this is 27 hours prior to the usual two week retesting period to show gravity is not involved. In this regard, one may recall the prliminary results of the large NASA experiment near the end of the last century where sensitive gravimeters placed in the path of totality gave null results while video seemed to indicate some pendulla in Eastern Europe saw a signal.

The results of the control were quite similar to the test where deflection and restoration occured in the 130-150 degree range while 90 and 170 extremes remain unaffected. This stronly suggests that a torsional systematic is present when pendulla were released in non-normal planes. Any signal present in the affected range would have been dominated by the systematic. However, it may still be observed that a signal was absent in the 90 and 170 degree planes. If a signal was buried beneath the systematics, this would support the NASA observation from gravimeters that gravitational mass is unaffected. Otherwise all pendulla in all planes would be equally affected.

There is still the 2017 eclipse to monitor with multiple pendulla in different planes to map angular dependence of the signal. There is another eclipse later this year where the sun eclipses the galactic center. While Allais has been credited with the accidental discovery of the signal in the 1950's, it is possible that this was actually a re-discovery. It may be that anomalies with pendulla had been observed during exlipses earlier. The Nostradamus prediciton of gravity "seemingly" behaving badly might be an extrapolation from solar eclipses to eclipses in general with particluar application to the rare Decemnber of 2012 eclipse. Hopefully, a multitude of pendulla swinging in different planes will be monitored to map out how the signal presents itself if it is present.