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Ready for the Eclipse?


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#1 SBacon

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 08:02 AM

Got the scopes ready, laptops charged, cameras charged, drone charged and I'm charged!  Ready to hit the road toward Nashville early Monday morning.  Tried to get a room in the inns a couple of weeks ago but like Mary and Joseph, there was none for the taking. I ignored the warnings and waited too late so now I will have to contend with the traffic!  That probably won't be the only fly in the ointment but it's my main concern now.  So far the extended weather forecast is clear.  Hope everyone else has great day no matter where you are on Monday.  It will be a blast!

 

Steve

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  • Sun and .97 Moon 8-5-17 600mm.jpg

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#2 MistrBadgr

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:10 PM

Hi Steve,

 

I am heading up to Red Cloud, Nebraska, where I have a room at a roadside motel.  Will drive about an hour to Grand Island the morning of the eclipse....early!  At the Stuhr Museum there, they have set up for a major event on about 200 acres, including food trucks and live music.  I am taking the EclipseView 114, a pair of solar glasses, and my little digital camera with an Infinity mount for it.

 

Where ever you are going, I hope you have a good time.  By the way, nice image(s)!

 

Best Regards,

 

Bill


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Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#3 RickScofield

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 06:10 PM

Steve and Bill,
I envy both of you, I will be stuck working but I have my 10x20 binoculars with sun filters mounted on a tripod ready for Monday, in Omaha we will be at 98% which will be impressive even if it's not 100%. I'll just break for lunch and since I work from home it won't be to bad.
I wish you both Good luck and good weather.
Rick

P.S.
Bill you will probably like Red Cloud, Main Street is still brick.

#4 MistrBadgr

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 07:49 AM

Thanks, Rick! :)

 

I am sure Red Cloud will be a nice place.  I have not located a specific night viewing area there, but it probably will not mater.  The sky will be so much darker than my back yard that I will think it will be a black zone!

 

Bill


Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#5 E Sully

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 11:38 AM

It was a nice little show here in NY.  Wife and I went to a friends Auto Shop and took turns with the welders mask.  About 3/4 cover here, and intermittent cloud cover.

I spoke with my friend in Wyoming, he had a great view of totality.  He just wished he had spent less time with the scope and just viewed with the glasses when at totality.  He said it was a bit dark through the scope compared to the glasses.

Hope everyone had an enjoyable and safe time.



#6 MistrBadgr

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 01:51 PM

In Grand Island, Nebraska, the traffic was backed up maybe 3/4 of a mile and was not moving.  There were three other directions with traffic coming into the Stuhr Museum Property, so I decided to abort that location and went on into Grand Island and found a shopping mall with plenty of spare parking.  I was able to park at a spot that had a tree for shade and a nice concrete square for a manhole with grass all around it....PERFECT!!

 

I was able to get times for First, Third, and Fourth Contacts, but I could not see the second numbers on my watch for Second Contact because it was so dark.  I can get it within a very few seconds, but no perfect.  Totality was wonderful, just too short.  It would have been OK with me if it lasted 15-20 minutes anyway! :)  It had the black circle in the middle for the Moon, with a fairly bright ring going all the way around it.  Then,.....there were these two beautiful white butterfly wings going out on either side!  I could see Venus easily, but I think there was a bit of very thin cloud in the way wherever Mercury was.  I simply could not find it.

 

I had my little Canon pocket digital camera on an Infinity tripod.  I took three shots, I think.  Hopefully, they are not all blurred.  However, at least the beauty of the eclipse is etched into my mind, if not the full details.

 

During the eclipse before and after totality, I had several people come up and look through my EclipseView 114.  Especially after the eclipse, as the Moon withdrew and showed the string of sunspots, they showed up very well without the glare of the whole sun.  I am thinking I need to use a green filter, to knock out some more light...especially the redder light in the sunspots, to make them show up better normally.

 

I am back in my Green Acres Motel room on the North side of Red Cloud.  I have found out from the lady at the motel desk about a field that is open to the public a few miles South of town that I will have to explore before I leave.  Going by the Light Pollution Map, with a Google Map in the background, the site should be dark grey.  The elevation here is something like 1700 feet.

 

Hope those that tried to see the eclipse had fun, one way or another. :)

 

Bill


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Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#7 RickScofield

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 04:38 PM

Bill,
I was wondering if you caught up in traffic around Grand Island but sounds like plan B was a good choice and worked out for you. South is a good direction for dark areas around Red Cloud, I am sure you going to have a good time.

#8 RickScofield

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 05:02 PM

Bill,
As a post script, while your in Red Cloud I would recommend you give the " Palace " for a good meal. Thursday night they serve one of the best prime rib dinners I have ever had and I am not a big fan of prime rib.

#9 MistrBadgr

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 04:06 PM

Thanks, Rick!

 

I thought about going to that restaurant, but ended up not doing so.  The Casey's there makes some pretty good pizza, plus I stuffed myself one day at the Sub Shop and simply did not want anything for supper.

 

I went to the Willa Cather Prairie or Wildlife Preserve for a night session.  Even though things worked out well just setting up at the observation area near Highway 281, I might go farther down the slope to get complete coverage from car lights and things like that.  There was reasonable protection where I was and only two or three cars drove by during my three hour session.  I could hear them coming and could close my eyes and turn my head at the right time.  That area shows light grey on the dark sky map and was plenty dark for me. 

 

I did not even get to my Infinity 114, except for looking at Jupiter before things really got dark.  The 1000 feet of extra elevation helped with Jupiter's details.  I worked with my 15X70 binoculars on the Astonomy League's Binocular Messier program.  Mostly I worked on objects that I did not think I could see from my back yard with the binoculars, and things that are too far over in Tulsa's light dome now.  The challenge object were just exactly that, even with dark skies.  There is no way I could have seen them at 15X from home.  I ended up finding 16 objects in about 2 1/2 hours.  All of a sudden, I came to my senses and realized that my legs were very cold and stiff, I was extremely tired, and it was time to pack up and go back to the motel while I could.  I could not believe it was that cold in August, even in Southern Nebraska.

 

I had a great time and may go back there.  The towns people are friendly and helpful, the Green Acres Motel is reasonable and the people there are good folks.  They found out about that 600 acre prairie preserve for me.  If I go back, I will probably scout out the preserve, find a good spot farther in, and plan my equipment a little better.  I am not worried about hiking back in with my things, it is coming back out when it is pitch dark and I am tired.  The area is a bit hilly, or at least not flat at all.  The entrance, if anyone is interested, is maybe a hundred yards North of a sign that says "Kansas Welcomes You" and on the west side of US highway 281.


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Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#10 RickScofield

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 04:53 PM

Bill,
I have hunted pheasant and turkey all over that country and know what you mean when you say it was dark as it is and it's great. Folks in Red Cloud are friendly and they are used to catering hunters. Maybe they should consider catering to amature astronomers as well.. The walking in and out is tuff and really forces you to consider what you really need to take and what you don't. I usually us a fence line for getting out in the dark. I have run in to critters doing the walk ins and outs, the kind with the white stripe on their back....
Take care, RickS

#11 MistrBadgr

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 05:31 PM

I try to stay away from the critters with the white stripes.  I would not want to get their stinkum on my scope!


Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#12 MistrBadgr

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 06:55 PM

Just thought I would try and post a picture I took with my little cannon pocket camera through the eyepiece of the EclipseView 114.  My hands were not as steady as I would have liked, but it turned out better than I expected.  Also is a picture of my setup and then again from where I was sitting in the shade of a little bitty tree.  My pickup is in the view of the last one, so I did not have to lug my stuff very far.

 

IMG_0468.JPG IMG_0465.JPG IMG_0467.JPG


Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma




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