May 20 2012 Solar Eclipse

Posted by Kelly on May 21st, 2012

May 20 2012

The partial solar eclipse of May 20, 2012

While an annular solar eclipse was witnessed in places such as Japan and the national parks of the western United States today, I was able to see the partial event from my location near the Great Lakes.

My day went from sunny and hot to cloudy and stormy, with luck bringing us just a few bands of clouds by sunset. The beginning of the eclipse could be seen with my eclipse glasses as the Moon nicked the lower right portion of the Sun. Then the Sun sank below a band of clouds and I had time to set up my camera and take some sunset pictures of a gorgeous cloud with a wave-like feature on top before the Sun reappeared below it.

Although using pinhole projection is a safe method, it is not easy to get a great view this way, especially with a Moon that was less than 50-percent eclipsed most the time and low on the horizon, shining through many layers of atmosphere. The eclipse glasses, even though they were nearly 20 years old, was the way to go.

We invited neighbors over to peek at the eclipse with us. The view was definitely three-dimensional, with the Moon hovering in front of a portion of the Sun. I managed to snag a picture with the filter held up to the front of my camera while another small band of clouds hung right above the Sun. Had we not had our eclipse glasses, the event would have been a bit disappointing.

With the Venus transit coming up, I highly recommend people find a pair of eclipse glasses of their own!

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