Countdown: Total Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017

Tele Vue President David Nagler exiting our building with all his eclipse observing gear in hand.

The media frenzy is growing as the first total solar eclipse to cross the North American continent in decades is closing in on us.

Our Tele Vue President David Nagler likes to travel light. So he built his eclipse observing kit around the Tele Vue TV-60 and Tele Vue Tele-Pod mount. In fact, he’s shown in the image here with not one but two complete telescope setups with a selection of eyepieces and solar viewers. Here’s a complete list of what he is carrying:

Continue reading “Countdown: Total Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017”

Countdown: Annular Solar Eclipse Feb. 26, 2017

TV-76 image of March 20, 2015 Solar Eclipse from Norway. J.M.Pasachoff.

After the penumbral eclipse of the new moon on February 11th, we have an Annular Solar Eclipse just a half-lunar-cycle later. Unlike the lunar eclipse, this one will need proper filtering to observe naked eye or through scopes. The eclipse is annular because only the central part of the sun is obscured, leaving a thin ring (annulus) of light around the edge. This happens because the moon’s orbit brings it closer and further from the earth — so its angular size from earth can vary from 29.4-arc-minutes to 33.5-arc-minutes. The size of the sun hardly varies from 32-arc-minutes due to the small eccentricity of the earth’s orbit. Thus, the moon can appear to be bigger or smaller than the sun according to the circumstances. Continue reading “Countdown: Annular Solar Eclipse Feb. 26, 2017”