THE HYBRID SOLAR ECLIPSE OF APRIL 8, 2005
Mola image courtesy Debbie Moran
This time calculations revealed that setting up at the tail end of the eclipse path where it crossed land in Panama would result in true annularity lasting from 2.5 to 3.7 seconds, depending upon which site we chose. Such a selection was made all the more difficult by the fact that in the preceding days, it was either rainy, cloudy or a combination of both in our chosen site areas of Coronado airport and Penonome airport in the province of Cocle.
The RING OF FIRE EXPEDITIONS base was situated at Panama’s only real resort, the Royal Decameron Hotel at Farallon on Panama’s Pacific coast. Our team had 70 persons in it, group 1 headed by myself and group 2 led by Astronaut Claude Nicollier. About an hour to central eclipse, building thunderheads threatened to engulf the sun and I elected to split the group. Claude took his team north of the Penonome airfield. We want to specifically acknowledge the contribution by meteorologist Steve Sokol of the Spaceflight Meteorology Group at NASA Johnson Space Center who kept me apprised of constantly changing developments on eclipse day. It was based on his recommendations that we were able to get ahead of bad weather.
For the Penonome team, the following information is provided:
latitude 8 deg 29.974m North, longitude 80 deg 21.653m West
1. Baily’s Beads start = 5:11:25pm (22.11.25UT)
2. Start of true annularity = 5:11:54.1pm
3. End of true annularity = 5:12:01.3pm
4. End of Baily’s Beads = 5:12:15.7pm
For Claude’s team, the following applies: latitude 8 deg 32.718m North, longitude 80 deg 20.422m West
1. Baily’s Beads start = 5:11:22pm
2. maximum eclipse between 5:11:58 and 5:12:02 but true annularity not achieved!
3. End Bailys’ Beads = 5:12:20pm
The times on the photos below may not be precisely accurate but were those given to me by the individual contributors; however, the above modeled times should be very good and reflect accurately the Watt’s limb corrections for the lunar edge. Based on the GPS location of our site, we should have had 7.2 seconds of annularity from the end of the runway at Penonome.
One objective was to determine the temperature drop during the nearly total eclipse. Blanca Mercedes Forshee of San Antonio, Texas recorded temps using a digital thermometer at 5 minute intervals. Results are as follows:
Our first ” Eclipse 5k-RUN FOR THE SUN ” run was won by Richard Nugent and photos are shown also below. The hotel provided a great RING OF FIRE EXPEDITIONS farewell cake which was shared on Saturday night at Cafe Med. Also, those of you lucky enough to have seen the -7 magnitude Iridum flare just before we departed Panama on Sunday got a great glimpse of things in the sky that can be seen anywhere in the world.
Now for a compendium of eclipse results from our intrepid team of observers. These images are posted for the benefit of our tour members only. These are not for reproduction unless you have express permission from the photographer. Many thanks to the following individuals for contributing their efforts to the group. Any photo appearing under a tourmember’s biline was taken by him/her. Where eclipse photos are concerned you can see some of the strengths and weakenesses of the results. These are reflected in the precision of the focus, the scale of the solar image, and the exposure time used. It may give you ideas for future eclipse photography. To the credit of each photographer we had to contend with variable thickness cloud as seen from the two main sites where our groups were situated.
CORNELIS DU TOIT (PENONOME AIRPORT)
“Meade ETX 90 on EQ3 tripod, using Scopetronix 40mm eyepiece and Digi-T adapter to a Nikon Coolpix 4500 camera, with a Baader density D=3.8 solar filter. The photos were taken under windy conditions and through clouds, so the definition is not always as good as one would have liked. Nevertheless, the pictures came out better than expected. Even with the lower density solar filter, I still had to use exposure times of about 1/15 sec during mid eclipse, due to the cloud effect.
I was lucky to get a picture so close to the middle of the eclipse, since my photo taking frequency was about 1 every 10 to 15 seconds at that point. It caught me slightly off-guard, since a few seconds before the middle of the eclipse it still looked like as if we had more time. When I realized that we were in the annular phase, I took one picture, but being too eager to take more, I clicked the shutter release with too short pauses in between, causing my camera to wait patiently for the last click – it starts processing the latest command even if previous commands has not been fully processed.
The times are within at least one second accuracy – I synchronised my camera with my “atomic-time” watch beforehand, and checked it before and after the eclipse by taking pictures of my watch.”
5:07:04pm. All times in this summary are in local Panama time on April 8, 2005. In GMT this is 22:07:04,
David and Miriam Findley
Camera SLR Nikon N65, Kodak Gold ISO 100 film, 400mm lens with a 2X Teleconvertor giving a total of 800mm focal length. Pictures taken at f6.7 bracketed between 1/20 to 1/4 seconds. Due to cloudy weather, my 3+ Thousand Oaks filter was just too much, so I switched to one layer of thin Mylar as a filter. The first picture was taken some seconds before annularity, the second at annularity.
Taken just after start of annularity. ESO=100, S=1/4000, C-90 with Canon Rebel digial camera.
Bob Hammarberg and Dee Holisky enjoy their very first eclipse
Canon 20D with the Canon 28-135 zoom lens set at the 135mm focal length. Bill was using the bus as a windbreak so as to minimize shaking effects. Camera is a Canon 20D 8.2mp digital with image stabilization feature. Images were cleaned up and enlarged with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0. F36 and an ISO of 800 for all digital exposures.
#2550b 1/4000 5:11:48pm
The group at Penonome at the end of the runway
On the ground, left to right: Lynn Palmer, Charl Du Toit,Ken Lester, Paul Maley, Debbie Moran, Blanca Forshee, Owen Leibman, Denise Nye,Anne Bullen.
Standing, left to right, Sherry Mueller,Ted Mueller, Elizabeth Du Toit, Cornelus Du Toit, Charlie McLeod, Jim Neal, Barbara Neal, Lisa Lester, driver, Lois Bader, Charles Bader,Hernan Contreras, Terry Kemper, Evelina Contreras, Ernie Piini, Ruben Ruiz, Lourdes Avila, Rick Frankenberger, Janice Frankenberger, Mary McGauley, Chuck Herold, Dick Mischke, Paul Stewart, Derald Nye.
The group with Claude
Front row, left to right: Hana Druckmullerova, Chris Piini, Maureen Cooper, Terry Cooper, Richard Nugent, Maryann Ott.
Standing, left to right: John Erickson, Howard Bruensteiner, Claude Nicollier, Doug Walker, Susan Nicollier, Bill Reyna,Irene Talbott, Paul Braithwaite, Nancy Braithwaite, Joshua Duncan, David Callendar, David Dix, Dee Holisky,Bob Hammarberg, Miriam Findley, Ed Deland, Jerry Palmer,Dimi Karras, ___, Linda Laing, Janet Deland, Larry McDavid, Cathy Gretencord, Bob Geary, Chris Triessl
To link to photos from Mary’s home page, click here: Mary’s Panama Page
Luis leading the birdwatching tour
The following were taken with: Meade ETX-90, 1250 mm fl @ prime focus, Focus mask approx. F64, 1/500 sec on Kodak Color Max, ASA 400 film
See their Panama images at: Chris/Bob’s Panama Page
See their eclipse images at: Chris/Bob’s Eclipse Page
LYNN PALMER (PENONOME AIRPORT)
An account of eclipse results in Panama was found in newspapers 2 days later
PAUL MALEY (PENONOME AIRPORT)
Hernan Contreras, John Erickson, David Dix
Beads just before annularity