Ted's Solar Eclipse Page!

© 1998, 1999,  2000 Ted Saker, Jr.  All Rights Reserved.
Country of First Publication:  The United States of America
These works are for the personal viewing and enjoyment of visitors to this site.
Any and all commercial use of these images is absolutely, strictly and totally prohibited without my consent.
Remember, I sue for a living.

SOLAR ECLIPSES:  General Information


Total Solar Eclipse of 26 February 1998
The Great Caribbean Eclipse
from aboard the M.S. Veendam at 12° 34' 4" N, 69° 30' 7" W
(between Aruba and Curaçao)
All eclipse pictures taken at the prime focus of a Meade ETX Astro
90 mm Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope; Kodak Royal Gold 400 35 mm print film
(unless otherwise indicated)

Quite a few of my pictures are still waiting to be scanned.  I got some decent video footage during the eclipse.  Hopefully, I can do some video capturing.  I have some nice shots of the outer corona with Jupiter and Mercury flanking the eclipsed Sun, and also shadowbands!  I took the video with a JVC VHS-C camera.

Total Solar Eclipse of 11 August 1999
The Last Total Solar Eclipse of the Second Millennium
(or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Clouds)
All eclipse pictures were taken at the prime focus of a Meade ETX Astro
90 mm Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope;  Fuji 200 35 mm film

I was a part of a group consisting of about 10 members of the Columbus Astronomical Society and about 30 members of Amateur Astronomers, Inc. of New Jersey.  The day before the total eclipse, I delivered a presentation on videotaping total solar eclipses at the European Southern Observatory in Garching, just north of Munich.  The schedule for the symposium, Research Amateur Astronomy in the VLT Era, is on line.   Thank you to the European Southern Observatory for the use of the schedule document in html form.   See Session VI, Tuesday August 10, 14:55-15:10.  David L. Crawford of the International Dark Sky Association delivered a very important presentation about light pollution.  See Session IV, Monday August 9, 15:30-17:00.  Bill Kramer took a picture of me during my presentation.  Thanks to Bill for permission to use this photo.

Our group observed totality from a soccer field near the Bavarian town of Altomunster.  The weather prospects for the day did not look good judging from the view to the west.  Between first and second contact, we got drenched twice.  The rain did not help us getting things set up.  I had extreme difficulty locating the sun in the telescope.  What light my solar filter did not block the clouds seemed to obscure.  However, with true German efficiency, a hole opened up about a half hour prior to totality, then closed up about ten minutes after totality when a thunderstorm came through.  As a result, pictures of first and fourth contact were hard to come by.  At second contact, I was shooting videotape of the shadow's approach.  I ran out of film just before third contact but I took some very nice video footage of third contact and the shadow's departure.

Partial Solar Eclipse of 25 December 2000
The Last Solar Eclipse of the Second Millennium
(The Great Christmas Eclipse)
All eclipse photography taken at prime focus of a Meade ETX Astro
90 mm Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope;  Fuji 100 35 mm film

    A Christmas miracle happened in Central Ohio:  clear skies in late December!  However, clear skies on a winter day means cold temps.  This Christmas Day was no exception.  It was a "great" eclipse as it was visible for the entire duration from my backyard.   The only eclipse chasing I had to do was walk out the back door.

Here's a picture of my nearly snowbound rig in the backyard. My Minolta X-370 is notoriously fickle in cold temps. Don't let the bright sunlight fool you: the temps never broke 20° F. I had to unmount the camera after taking each frame to ensure that the dang thing would continue to work. Asthetically and scientifically, it's hard to get worked up for a partial eclipse. Trying to do something new with my images was my challenge. I thought to myself, self, why not animate the still pictures to show the moon's motion across the face of old Sol? Here it is: Ted's Partial Solar Eclipse Animation! Each frame was taken 15 to 20 minutes apart beginning at about 11:10 AM local time (EST). Pixar hasn't anything to worry about from this effort.

Total Lunar Eclipse of 20 February 2008

I have to admit that I haven't been doing much in the way of eclipse chasing so far this century. However, I did manage to capture one (1) decent image taken seconds before second contact on a very, very cold winter evening in Ohio.

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Ted Saker, Jr.

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