Solar Eclipse from Regina, SK

The eclipse today was visible from Regina, but not the totality available to Americans in many states.

Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017
My new Canon SX540 HS did a good job with a pair of solar eclipse filter glasses taped over the lens. The sunspot chain was very sharp and visible at 200X digital zoom, 80ISO.

I made a projector that worked well:

Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017

ADDED: Here’s 2012’s annular eclipse in Regina.

To Be Left On The Moon

Some of these items found in Armstrong’s closet, were to be abandoned on the surface of the Moon.

More than four decades after the Apollo 11 moon landing, a cloth bag full of souvenirs brought back by astronaut Neil Armstrong has come to light.

Among the trove: a 16 mm movie camera from inside the lunar module that filmed its descent to the moon and Armstrong’s first steps on the lunar surface in 1969.

That camera “took one of the most significant sets of images in the 20th century,” said Allan Needell, a curator in space history at the National Air and Space Museum.

Partial Solar Eclipse

The partial clouds ruined the partial eclipse viewing, but I caught a few fleeting seconds here and there with a small crowd of astronomers from the RASC at the Science Centre.
Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse Solar Eclipse Solar Eclipse

A kind astronomer gave me a pair of these glasses:
Solar Eclipse

I’ve been trying to take daily photos of the huge sunspot too, but clouds have been in the way the last two days when I’ve tried.
Solar Sunspot AR2192

Air and Space


Walked around Balboa Park. Gave a 50 cent coin to a magician, maybe he’ll use it in his act in the future. Got lost, found my wag son after crossing a bridge. Saw another Apollo command module, this was 9 Gumdrop.

Woke at 5am to some man yelling help a few blocks away. Police were on scene, hopefully he wanted their help.

Ate supper at Guadalajara restaurant in Old Town, before returning to Mission Beach.

To the Moon and Back: Neil Armstrong RIP

Neil Armstrong has passed away, at 82 years of age.

He was the first person to walk on the Moon. No one has set foot on the Moon since I was born. It’s possible the last human to ever walk on the Moon has already done so, and that’s terribly sad.


He once was asked how he felt knowing his footprints would likely stay on the moon’s surface for thousands of years. “I kind of hope that somebody goes up there one of these days and cleans them up,” he said.

I agree with Armstrong, since that would be preferable to the alternative that they are never seen again, in-person.

Wood Mountain Folk Festival
The Moon last night.

Earthshine and Meteors

I tried photographing some Perseid meteors, but didn’t have much luck this year. I did get some nice shots of the Moon, Jupiter, and Venus though.
Earthshine Crescent

Planets and Moons
-I took this one while a meteor flew down, from above Venus, but it didn’t show up. Maybe the shutter wasn’t open like I thought, or my ISO and shutter settings were not good enough given the 15 second exposure (to increase my chances of the shutter being open during a meteor).

I did see a nice bright green one, and it left a trail of green smoke in the sky which cleared after about two seconds.

Jupiter’s moons clearly visible, at 48X digital zoom
I use a mini tripod, with bendy legs.


Transit of Venus from Saskatchewan

7:37 last photo UPDATE: Clouds have overtaken the Sun on the west horizon.
Venus and clouds in front of the Sun

7:21 UPDATE: Haven’t taken more shots, will get back out soon, if clouds haven’t covered the Sun here yet.
Transit of Venus
Saskboy, Sun, Venus
-The Sun is the green spot above my eye. Technically Venus is also in this shot, but you can’t make out the little black pixel.

7:00 UPDATE:

More photos to come.

It’s started, here’s my first image using an unsafe 12 filter.

14:33 MDT Regina, SK

The last chance for humans alive today to witness a transit of the planet Venus (directly from Earth), happens in a little over one hour from now. There are 7 hours after that to catch the event on the Internet or from other positions on the planet. What you need to know right now:

  • Do not look at the Sun without professional viewing equipment. You can construct amateur equipment to look at projections of the sun only.
  • A solar eclipse is a special transit of the Earth’s Moon passing in front of the Sun. The Transit of Venus is the same thing, except Venus is so much farther away from Earth, and will be dwarfed by the disc of the Sun in the distance. It should give you an idea of the comparable size Earth is to the Sun, given Venus’ roughly equivalent shape to Earth’s.
  • I’ll be using binoculars to project an image of the sun onto a white sheet of paper. It’s windy, so I should tape that paper onto something rigid to keep it from flapping. If the clouds don’t clear up, I’ll be sad, but at least there’s the view from around the World using professional imaging on the Internet.
  • Solar Eclipse from Regina

  • You can construct a projector very quickly, just find a cardboard tube, cover one end with tin foil, prick the centre so it has a round, pin/period sized opening, and hold it up to a white screen where you’ll see an image of the Sun when it’s held at the right distance to focus it.
  • Get more information on safe viewing
  • The Black Drop is an apparition of a black connecting line that doesn’t exist, from the black venus disc to the blackness of space behind the Sun. A similar optical illusion can be seen by putting your finger and thumb very close together near your eye until it looks like they are touching, but you know they are not. The Black Drop makes it harder to visually tell when the Venus transit precisely begins and ends.
  • If you have Android or iPhone, install 3D Sun which is a free app that turns your phone into a solar tricorder (with delayed readings from Solar Orbital Observatories)

4:09pm in Regina, the transit begins. It may be several minutes before you’ll be able to notice an image change in your projection.