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  Solar eclipse (11.3.13) as seen from 43,000 feet

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Author Topic:   Solar eclipse (11.3.13) as seen from 43,000 feet
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 28079
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-03-2013 07:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ben Cooper embarked on a risky 24-hour shot at photographing the only total solar eclipse for 2013, hoping to intercept seven seconds of the moon's shadow over the Central Atlantic from a Falcon 900B jet.
Unlike most eclipse flights, this one has no margin for error, and we must intercept the right spot at the right moment, flying perpendicular to the shadow as it begins its race across the ocean at nearly 4 km/s. If successful, it would be a first.
Minutes ago, he shared his success:
As seen from 42,000 feet over the Central Atlantic, some 600 miles southeast of the island of Bermuda, the sun puts on a near instantaneous show of totality. Our plane, intercepting in a manner never done before, was about one second off for central totality. Some telephoto shots suffered from turbulence.

See more photos of the eclipse at Ben's website: LaunchPhotography.com.

Blackarrow
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Posts: 2112
From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 11-03-2013 11:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Now that's what I call eclipse chasing!

Jurg Bolli
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Posts: 540
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 11-03-2013 06:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great photos.

Ben
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Posts: 1857
From: Daytona Beach, FL
Registered: May 2000

posted 11-03-2013 09:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Robert I just got home. It was amazing. A great experience.

tegwilym
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Posts: 2288
From: Renton, WA USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 11-03-2013 10:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is so cool. Nice work Ben! (Jealous)

Glint
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Posts: 779
From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 11-04-2013 05:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unlike most eclipse flights, this one has no margin for error, and we must intercept the right spot at the right moment, flying perpendicular to the shadow as it begins its race across the ocean at nearly 4 km/s. If successful, it would be a first.
First time I heard of this type of eclipse chase maneuver was after the total solar eclipse of October 3, 1986. Glen Schneider told me about writing software for catching an even shorter eclipse — one second duration — from Iceland aboard a Cessna Citation II jet.

Not only was the eclipse short, but the low altitude (some would call it elevation) of the sun meant that the ground track of the sub-airplane point was miles from the ground track for central path of the moon's shadow. They did it all without the benefit of GPS! And with technology that existed 27 years prior to the current eclipse. I found a summary of this mission, linked below:

A Geometrically Remarkable Eclipse

Schneider's flight occurred at 44,000 ft, 2,000 higher than yesterday's flight.

In the meantime, here in Maryland, we saw an approx. 35% covered sun at sunrise yesterday, with the partial eclipse lasting for 30 minutes. It was a spectacular sunrise.

Ben
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Posts: 1857
From: Daytona Beach, FL
Registered: May 2000

posted 11-04-2013 09:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's right, and Glenn helped with tips for our flight. But with the 1986 flight, like most, the airplane followed the path and waited for the shadow to catch up. For yesterday's intercept, a first, this was not possible unless only the pilots were to see it. So we had to cross the shadow at 90 degrees and thus intercept a specific spot at the right instant. Yes, GPS and modern day technology played the biggest role!

cspg
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Posts: 4274
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 11-07-2013 08:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The picture is today's Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD, November 7). Congratulations!

Ben
Member

Posts: 1857
From: Daytona Beach, FL
Registered: May 2000

posted 11-07-2013 09:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you.

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