Partial Solar Eclipse - October 23, 2014 at Broemmelsiek Park

posted Oct 23, 2014, 6:54 PM by Jim Twellman
Clouds were fairly thick and discouraged many, but we were still successful at observing this partial solar eclipse and sharing the views with nearly all who came.  Our telescope operators (Amy, Steve, Kirk, Stacey, Chuck, and myself) came early and set up.  We were joined by Nancy G. of the County Parks.  It was difficult to set up with very little to no visible Sun.  We managed to get lined up just before the eclipse, and Stacey announced the first contact pretty much right on time.

The eclipse occurred from 4:41pm to 6:11,pm but we were well-clouded at 5:41pm.  We did not get to observe the maximum eclipse (39% at 5:47pm), but we all got to see a large 'chunk" blocked (I'd estimate 25%).  Clouds were intermittent with observing from 4:41 to 5:41, with the clouds likely being more than 80-20 vs. the Sun.  We estimated that we had probably 50 visitors.

Steve manned a live web-link of the eclipse, with a laptop and monitor at the picnic table.  I brought some visual displays of today's Sun and also of the upcoming 2017 TOTAL solar eclipse.  We had a field of mostly SCTs today, including one from a visitor with his kids.  Amy, Kirk, and Steve were the exceptions.  It was a worthwhile overall effort, and the clouds did not 'skunk' us.  They sure did hold a lot of people back though.  Given the amount of time available to view the Sun this afternoon, we probably had just the right-sized crowd.

Jim Twellman

Opportunities to view were fleeting due to heavy clouds.  We only managed one rough image thanks to Lauren.

Photo below courtesy of Lauren Inman.  Photo taken with cell phone camera, hand-held, afocal, at 60x thru 8" SCT at f/6.3.  Sunspots off-center, and moon 'taking a bite' out of the sun.