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The annular solar eclipse of 20 May 2012

Submitter: George Heald
Description: During the third week of May 2012, I attended a HALOGAS team meeting, which was held in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It so happened that an annular solar eclipse took place the following weekend (on 20 May), and since the path of the maximum eclipse crossed directly through Albuquerque, I decided to make the 360 km trip to see the show. The University of New Mexico's Physics & Astronomy department had organized a large public viewing event, and their activities included setting up a 70mm refractor (equipped with a solar filter) which spent the afternoon tracking the Sun and taking a sequence of images. Two representative images (one a bit before the eclipse began, and the second close to the moment of exact alignment) are shown above. A full movie formed from the images obtained with the telescope can be found here.

As a fun bonus, in the bottom frames of today's image, you can also see a far less professional picture of the eclipse - this one was taken with a very portable astronomical device: my mobile phone(!), with the built-in camera lens covered by solar viewing glasses.
Copyright: Upper images courtesy of Pete Zimmer and Dan Zirzow (University of New Mexico)
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