Total Eclipse of the Sun

Total Eclipse

Total Eclipse of the Sun - February 26, 1998

This photograph shows the Sun during the total eclipse of February 26, 1998. The photo was taken from a beach near the Northwest corner of the island of Curacao during totality. It was amazing how the Sun's corona popped into view the instant that the moon completely covered the Sun's photosphere. The shape of the corona is determined by the Sun's magnetic fields, and we had some very accurate predictions from NASA on what shape the corona would have during this eclipse. Prior to the eclipse, I observed the Sun with a Takahashi Mewlon 210 Dall-Kirkham telescope using a solar filter, and three large groups of sun spots could be seen. During totality, a large naked eye prominence was visible, but does not show up on this photo. The planets Mercury and Jupiter were easily visible near the Sun during totality, and Venus could be seen well before totality began.

This photograph was published in the 2008 Vatican Observatory Calendar.

The photograph was taken with a Takahashi FS-78 refractor mounted on a Takahashi EM-10 mount. Kodak Royal Gold 100 film was used. I used the Olympus OM-1 camera for this work. Shutter speed was 1/125 second.

Solar Eclipse
February 26, 1998 at 1813 U.T.
Photo by Sid Leach

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