On Monday Aug. 21st, 2017 we had the once in a lifetime opportunity to experience one of the most spectecular celestial events - a Total Solar Eclipse. This "Great American Eclipse" was visible accros the North American continent all the way from Oregon to South Carolina, including Kentucky (see NASA eclipse page for information on the "Path of Totality"). Hosting the point of "Greatest Duration" (2 minutes 40 seconds) - located near Hopkinsville in Western Kentucky - Kentucky became a very special place to observe the Total Solar Eclipse. Hundredths of thousand guests traveled to Kentucky to be in the path of totality to experience this cosmic event live.
Members of the Department of Physics and Astronomhy were part of a variety of events at e.g. Kentucky Dam Village, Big Bear Resort, and Mike Miller Park. Below you find a selection of pictures and videos they brought home. We hope you enjoyed the Total Solar Eclipse 2017 as much as we did and we will see you in 2024 for the next.
Left: Animation of the Total Solar Eclipse composed of 62 individual images. Images were taken with an iphone7 plus, mounted to an Meade ETX90 reflector (attached to a 26mm Ploessl eye piece). Center: Same setup this time video recording of the moment before totality. Right: Totality as seen from the Big Bear Resort at Kentucky Lake. The video has bee taken with a Sony NEX FS700 HD camera with a 200 mm focal length.
Temperature change during total solar eclipse. The temperature dropped by about 10 C (20 F) between first contact and 100% totality - data have been provided by graduate student Beckey Steele (description of the used setup can be found here). The variations in the beginning and the end of the eclipse are due to partial cloud cover.
From left to right: Dark sky during totality and the total eclipsed sun (cropped from the image before) as seen from Greenville, KY - courtesy of Dr. Swagato Banerjee; Airplane trail captured before eclipse begin. Early phase of the eclipse with clearly visible clusters of sun spots (upper right part and a second cluster in the lower left part, close to the edge). Images 3 and 4 were taken with an iphone7 plus, mounted to an Meade ETX90 reflector (attached to a 26mm Ploessl eye piece).
From left to right: Middle and end of phase of totality. Images were taken with an iphone7 plus, mounted to an Meade ETX90 reflector (attached to a 26mm Ploessl eye piece).
From left to right: Fisheye view during totality (5s exposure), taken with Nikon D7500 and 180 fiheye lense with 4.9mm focal lenght. Onyx 80EDF telescope with 80mm aperature and 500mm focal length. Corona during totality taken with iphone attached to the eyepiece of the Onyx 80EDF - courtesy of Dr. John Kielkopf.
From left to right: Full, partial eclipsed, and total eclipsed sun as seen from Sanders Ferry Park, Hendersonville, TN. The pictures were taken with a Nikon D3200 DSLR camera mounted to a 6", f/8 Newtonian telescope with an exposure time of 1/500 s - courtesy of Mr.Krishna Myneni
From left and right: Total eclipsed sun as seen from Sanders Ferry Park, Hendersonville, TN. The pictures were taken with a Nikon D3200 DSLR camera mounted to a 6", f/8 Newtonian telescope with an exposure time of 1/500 s. Middle: Setup used for the observation of the total solar eclipse - courtesy of Mr.Krishna
Time-lapse images taken with a Canaon 1100D and LUMIX G3 both equiped with a 55 mm lense (using: F8.0, ISO200, and 1/10 sec exposure time). The Canon took one exposure every 2 sec over 3 hours, while the LUMIX took exposures every 1 sec over 1.3 hours. The pictures have been taken at Kentucky Dam Village as part of the project Overshadowed, with the Canon pointing towards the harbor entrance (left image) and the LUMIX pointing towards the dam (right image). The black stipe in the center is showing the passing of the moon's shawdow - courtesy of Dr. Benne Holwerda
Total Solar Eclipse 2017 at Hopkinsville, KY - courtesy of Nicole Dowling, Dr. Timothy Dowling, and Nicole Erwin of WKMS
Darkening due to the Total Solar Eclipse from 6 min before start of totality (upper left) to 6 min after start of totality (lower right). Images have been taken at Hopkinsville, KY using Nikon Coolpix. The images are screenshot frames from video recordings. - courtesy of Dr. Christopher Graney, Jefferson Community & Technical College