20 March 2015

Solar eclipse and ducks

This morning our ducks returned, and they came again this evening. We had seen them occasionally during the winter, but this looks like they may be back for the summer. Unusually last year they stayed until December instead of disappearing as normal in July or August.

That was a promising beginning to the day, though we were doubtful of seeing the eclipse since cloud was forecast. Five minutes before the maximum eclipse, the sun appeared through thin cloud and I was lucky enough to get this shot.

I took a sequence of photos at 10 minute intervals - more often around maximum eclipse - all taken at exactly the same settings. This gives an idea as to how much darker it became (though the contrast in the photos is far greater than was actually apparent). The numbers on the pictures are minutes before/after maximum.

I also took some automatic ones, and found that 1/125th sec at F4, ISO 80 at 25 minutes before maximum looked identical to 1/50th sec at F3.5, ISO 200 at maximum. That's equivalent to a difference of 3 stops, or 8 times the exposure.

27 minutes after maximum, the still partially eclipsed sun managed to produce a rainbow.

A few minutes later, the sun began to shine brightly, and I used a colander as recommended to get some rather fuzzy images of the sun by projecting the shadow onto a piece of white paper.

I also took the temperature every 10 minutes, using two thermometers for greater sensitivity, but the eclipse only shows as a minor dip in the generally rising temperature. Maximum eclipse (93.73%) here in Glasgow was at 9:34am.

I felt very pleased to have had such a successful morning, particularly as we had expected nothing but cloud.