Annular Solar Eclipse

As the moon moved in front of the sun the daylight noticeably waned, and the landscape took on the warm-colored glow of late afternoon winter light, though with less intensity and an eerie shadowy cast to it.

While you could just barely, sort of see something of the eclipse with the naked eye when looking at the sun for a split second, as filtered through sunglasses and the branches of nearby pine trees, it was effectively invisible without the use of special glasses with super dark lenses like welding goggles. We joked about foolishly looking at the sun without eye protection: “Did you see the eclipse?” “Yeah. It was the last thing I ever saw.”

An annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon is furthest from the earth during its orbit and closer to the sun. This allows the much smaller moon to block out most of the much larger sun; similar to blocking from view a huge building way down the street by putting your fist in front of your eyes. According to the Los Angeles Times, the next time southern Californians will see an eclipse of this magnitude will be in 2071.

Views of the annular solar eclipse of May 20, 2012 as seen from La Cumbre Peak, Santa Barbara, California:

The eclipse at 5:45 pm.

6:15 pm

The peak of the eclipse at 6:38 pm.

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8 Responses to Annular Solar Eclipse

  1. i’m not surprised that you captured the eclipse! thanks from ecuador! z

  2. Hadley Johnson says:

    Very nice shots. For those of us who wish we could have taken pictures like this, could you give us a description of how you took the photographs, including special filters, etc. Thanks.

    • Jack Elliott says:

      Hello. I had foolishly neglected to bring any sort of eye protection to view the eclipse, but fortunately some kind people had special glasses, sort of like those 3D glasses used for movies but with super dark lenses, and they let me use them. I simply placed the glasses over the lense of my camera and, using a 150mm zoom lense, took the photos that way.

  3. Frank says:

    Your third paragraph reads funny. I think you meant to say, an annular eclipse occurs when the moon is furthest from the Earth, when its apparent size is smallest and is slightly smaller than the sun’s apparent size.

  4. These are fabulous shots, and you’re so fortunate to have been able to see the eclipse. I wouldn’t have seen it if it had not been for your post. Thanks!

  5. Stillman says:

    Nice! My parents, who live in Bellingham WA, drove all the way south to Eureka CA to see the sun 100% eclipsed, the “ring of fire”. Eureka was supposed to be the best place on earth to see this eclipse because of it’s track, and because Eureka is on the coast, allowing unlimited viewing. They once incorporated an identical eclipse into an Italian vacation.
    Love the 6:15 shot.

    • Jack Elliott says:

      Yeah! If I had the free time and spending cash I would have definitely driven up north to see it. You done gots to get this sorta stuff in when and where you can, because it don’t happen often, and life is fleeting. At least, that’s my thought on it, as I’m the type of person that likes to see things with his own eyes, and isn’t easily discouraged by long distance travels, the time it takes and so on.

      • ali says:

        What a life. I would love to just be free and be able to enjoy what the beautiful world has to offer…maybe someday. Truly inspiring.

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