Tag Archives: new moon

Solar Eclipse… May 20th.

If this is the first you’ve heard of this event, it may be too late to be properly prepared to photograph it. The maximum occurs at around 6:33 PM for those in the San Francisco Bay Area (and at most a few minutes before or after that for everyone else in California).  Be sure to go out at least 5 minutes prior, though. To get a more exact time, click the map below then double click on your location. Don’t let the date of May 21st fool you! The time shown will be “UTC” the time in *London*. Those in the Pacific Time zone must SUBTRACT seven hours from UTC.  If the time of maximum is listed as: 2012/05/21 01:33:24 then the Pacific time is seven hours EARLIER or 18:33:24 (6:33 PM).

What NOT To DO

  • DO NOT look at the sun even during the maximum period. This is an Annular eclipse so much of the sun will NOT be covered.
  • If you MUST see the eclipse make sure you have proper eye protection. A camera obscura may work. A Camera Obscura is a box with a pinhole in it that allows you to observe the sun by looking in through the SIDE of the box at the projected image (not through the pinhole!)
  • For many more NOTs see here.
  • Here is one “not” illustrated for you.  For this I took a pair of low power binoculars held the safe solar filters against the eyepiece and pointed the unit at the sun. See the pinhole burned through the plastic… imagine that is your eye, now blinded.  Don’t Do It.

    What NOT to Do! See that hole burned by the sun? That could be your eye!

    Here is a page describing how to observe safely, including building a pinhole “camera obscura”.

For more information about Solar Filters please see my “Solar Filters” blog entry.