Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Solar Eclipse

Did any of you West Coasters/East Asians watch the solar eclipse on Sunday? There were several areas around the Bay where one could go watch through nice amateur/professional telescopes (with sun filters, of course), but around the magic six o'clock time, Sak and I got too lazy to leave the house :(

Instead, we rigged together an impromptu pinhole sun viewing box.
It's a shoebox..with a viewing hole in the side, and a piece of pin-poked foil in the front.
You can't really see the pin-prick in the middle, but that's the point! The smaller the better.
We taped up any other light holes with more foil, and held it up to the sun!
What is this? The moon! Nay! It is the sun, covered by the moon!
A little closer..
Cool, eh? But not cool enough for Sak.  He decided he needed something bigger.
Unfortunately, I couldn't stick my camera in to take a picture, but the bigger box did make the sun's image a little larger! Nothing too fancy though. In high school astronomy, I had a borrowed telescope from my grandparents and a borrowed solar filter from my teacher that I used to photograph sun spots with.  I wish I had them for the eclipse! :P

Anyway, SF Bay only got about an 85% covered sun, so we didn't get to see the awesome ring of fire like the Pacific Northwest and Japan did.
The ring as seen from Japan! (source)
Astronomy is definitely my favorite subset of physics.  Space is just so cool!


Your thoughts - go!