Solar Eclipse, August 21, 2017,
Wes Hayward, 21 August 2017
Although our kids and their families had made arrangements to
travel to eclipse totality, we elected to view it from our back
yard. This turned out to be a lot of fun, for several
of the neighbors joined us. They brought their lawn
chairs, special glasses, some kids, and one dog. I built a
projector consisting of a "backwards" monocular mounted on a small
backpacking tripod. The monocular was just a small (2
oz) instrument that I often take with me on walks when I want to
look at the mountains. The result was a sun image that
was 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. I could get a
larger diameter by moving the tripod away from the screen, but the
intensity then suffered. I also had a classic
cardboard box, but the projected image was then very small.
This shot was taken well into the morning,
approaching the darkest point for us. We had 99.5%
darkness, still far from the total experience that others
enjoyed. It did get cool, but there were no
birds chirping at the wrong times.
The following shots were taken with the apparatus shown above as
we progressed through the morning. The optics
inverted the images. Each is labeled with the
time in Pacific Daylight.
Some of the photos are distorted because I took the picture with
the camera at an angle other than the preferred normal.
Finally, here's a shot of the monocular on the tripod.
I saw a brief, but very well done NASA video about building these