Solar Eclipse Spectrograph
August 06, 2009
The photo pair above was taken during the total solar eclipse on July 22, 2009 from Tianhuangping, China (near Shanghai). Expressions of pure joy warm the faces of members of the Greek team comprised of scientists and students from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, as they watch the nascent phase of this breathtaking phenomenon. Viewing conditions were not optimal where we were positioned along the eclipse track. Nevertheless, we were able to make spectrographic measurements of the different stages of the eclipse, such as the spectrum for the “diamond ring” shown in the bottom photo. The diamond ring effect occurs when totality is just ending or beginning. Sunlight bursts through prominent valleys or craters along the limb of the Moon producing a brilliant “diamond” on the brightened ring of the lunar silhouette.
Photo detail of bottom frame: Taken with a transmission grating spectrometer (205 lines/mm); 135 mm lens; and Canon EOS 350D camera.