Solar Eclipse
10 June 2002

Many of us in the across the US were favored with a partial solar eclipse today. The path of the eclipse passed mostly across the Pacific Ocean and well south of us. Check out the NASA site about the eclipse (and other upcoming eclipses, for that matter).

Here near San Francisco, we saw about 65% of the sun obscured by the moon. It left us in an eerie pre-dusk glow which one of my neighbors, with a nervous look around, described as "earthquake" weather.

Of course, it's not safe to look directly at the Sun, even during an eclipse. So I rigged up my small telescope to show the kids what was going on and the safe way to view it. Here's Allison showing off the view we got. It was detailed enough, in fact, to see a prominent sunspot visible on the surface.

As the picture to the right shows (with Eric's help), I rigged up a piece of cardboard at the end of the telescope to block the sunlight for easier viewing.

Carol thought this was cool enough to take to the Girl Scout pool party that was going on during the eclipse. So she packed it up and took it with her, sharing the event with the girls who would likely have missed it otherwise.

Of course, that left me without a means of watching. So I dug out my backup telescope tube and rigged it up to a camera tripod so I could watch the maximum. Alas, as she took the camera to get pictures of the Girl Scouts, I have no photos of that.

Click on any of the thumbprints on the left (scroll to see more) to see a larger version of that picture. More detailed instructions are also avaialble.