Total Solar Eclipse, 8 April 2024

 

by Larry Bogan

Location

Path of Totality of the Solar Eclipse, N.B.

The path of totality for the April 2024 Solar Eclipse crossed New Brunswick, Canada, from the St. John River Valley to the Northumberland Straits. The width of the path was 171 km. I had selected the small village of Stanley, N.B. as the sight for observing the eclipse. I set up in a nice little village park with benches and table beside the Upper Nashwaak River. There was a good view to the Southwest where the Sun would be. Stanley was 26 km south of the centre-line of the eclipse and had 3 minutes 10 seconds of totality. This was only 10 seconds less than an eclipse seen on the centre line. We were staying with the Bernards in Charter Settlement. If we had observed from there, totality would have only been 1 minute and 48 seconds. The gain was well worth the 3/4 hour drive north of Fredericton. 

Alison Bogan and Laurel Bernard at Stanley, N.B. during the Solar Eclipse

Timing

The whole eclipse took place from 3:23 pm to 5:42 pm ADT. The Sun was a 44 deg altitude at the start and moved through 35 degrees ending at 24 deg above the horizon.  Totality started at 3:33 pm and ended at 3:36 ADT. At that time the Sun was at altitude 35 degrees in the Southwest. The weather had cleared the previous night and there were cloudless skies. A few high cirrus and lenticulars seen on the drive to the site had dissipated.

Equipment

Camera and Lens on Equatorial Drive I used a Canon M2 mirrorless camera to capture images of the Sun. It had a 500 mm mirror-lens (Rokinon) with a aluminized mylar filter. The lens had a fixed aperture of f6.3. The camera was set on manual at ISO400 and shutter speed of 1/125 th of a second. (afterward it was determined that this slightly over exposed the Sun, with the filter). The camera was mounted on an equatorial drive so as to track the motion of the sun. The drive was a Sky Watcher Star Adventurer mounted on a surveyors tripod. The mount was align as well as possible with a magnetic compass (magnetic delination of -16 degrees) and a level. During the eclipse the Sun stayed in the field of view of the camera for an hour before having to be readjusted. In order not to have to touch the camera to take pictues and adjust settings, the camera was controlled via WiFi with Canon Connect application run on a Vernee Android phone. 

Results

63 images were taken during the whole eclipse (15 during totality without the filter and 48 during the partial phase (with the filter). 

A composite of images of the Sun

 The Sun during the 'partial' phase of the eclipse. This image was created by putting together 14 of the individual images of the Sun taken through the solar filter. The centres of the Sun were placed along a line that is the path of the Sun through the sky as the Earth rotated during the eclipse. The Sun moved to the right and down (West in the sky) while the Moon moved very slowly Eastward relative to the Sun and passed in front of the Sun to completely block it a the time of totality of the eclipse. 

Both the Sun and the Moon appears to move west by one diameter every two minutes. But at the same time the Moon is moving eastward relative to the Sun approximately its own diameter every hour. This is the reason the movement of the Moon over the Sun takes about an hour and then it requires another hour for it to move off the Sun.

 

Last Seconds before Totality

The last seconds before the Sun is totally eclipsed by the Moon. Only a sliver of light peeks over the edge of the Moon and through its valleys or partially blocked by some mountains. This creates an uneven line of light from the Sun at this point.

Total Eclipse with Venus below and Jupiter above

An overexposed Solar Corona during Totality, with Venus visible below the Sun and Jupiter above (difficult to see in this image). This was taken with my point-and-shoot Canon SX620 in mid-eclipse

Solar Corona 1/4 second exposure

Totality with the Solar Corona dominant.  1/4 second exposure 

1/125 second exposure - Chromosphere visible with a couple of Prominences

Short exposure - Note the loop Prominence at the bottom and the other on the right.

A closeup of the Prominences erupting from the Sun peeking around the edge of the Moon

 A Closer view of the Prominences erupting from the Sun's surface and peeking around the edge of the Moon. Prominences are filaments of hot gas. This image has over exposed them and they appear thicker than they are.

Weather Effects of the Solar Eclipse of the Sun

At our home in Nova Scotia the eclipse was only partial but at totality in New Brunswick, the Sun was 96% covered in Brooklyn Corner, Nova Scotia. I have an automatic weather station that records the solar Radiation, the outdoors temperature and the windspeeds. The image below has all three graphs lined up showing the decrease in solar radiation during the eclipse, the drop in temperatire and the decrease in wind. These all occur at 4:37 pm at the time of maximum eclipse.  (click on the image for a larger image)

Weather Records Brooklyn Corner NS 8 April 2023

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