John and Mary Kormendy: Total Solar Eclipse of April 8, 2024

Total eclipse of the Sun, April 8, 2024, just before the Sun started to reappear close to the V-shaped prominence. The Sun was totally obscured when the eclipse ended, but the start of the eclipse is shown in the movie.

This movie encompasses the whole eclipse. It is a concatenation of 4 segments that include the last seconds before totality and about 43 seconds after totality ended. Totality lasted about three and a half minutes. About 45 seconds of this are shown. These were the only times when breaks in the clouds allowed my camera to see and focus on the image. No time was completely clear, though the clouds were thinnest just before the end of totality. We were lucky to see anything: clouds were generally thick before the eclipse and a lot thicker afterward. The movie was taken from the Stonegate subdivision near Dripping Springs, where we lived for 23 years. I used a Canon R5 mirrorless camera with 100-500 mm telephoto lens at 500 mm and a 2x extender. I took the movie hand-held while lying on the ground! Since the effective focal length was 1000 mm, I could not hold the camera very still.

This was our 3rd solar eclipse. Our first, on July 11, 1991, was also seen through thin clouds, much like this one. One advantage then was that we were on a mountain slope near Kona, Hawaii. There, we could see the Moon's shadow zoom toward us at ~ 1500 miles per hour. Our second eclipse in 2017 was perfect in every way. Today's eclipse was much like our first, except that this time we got the above movie.

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