Monday, May 21, 2012


Sunday, May 20 - Were you able to see the Annular Eclipse? An annular eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly in front of the sun, but the lunar disk is not quite wide enough to cover the entire star. At maximum, the moon forms a "black hole" in the center of the sun.

Being in Northern California, we were in a prime viewing area. Of course, Marsha wanted Paul to make a viewing screen so she could see the different stages of the eclipse. She explained how it was the first annular solar eclipse in the United States since 1994. We just can't miss this opportunity.

So we poked a hole in a piece of cardboard and used it to reflect an image of the sun on a second piece of cardboard.

Paul wanted to experiment with different size holes. This one didn't work.
paul big hole

Now we have it.
right size hole

It worked pretty well and we were able to view the moon crossing in front of the sun.

This is what our sky looked like before the Ellipse.
sky before ellipse

Please remember, we don't have any of the special glasses (which are pretty cool by the way) like our friends, Sandie and Jim, so we couldn't look directly at the sun. All the photos are original, not touched up.

Getting started. We made two pin holes. The bigger one was much better.

5:15…the adventure begins. Look at about the 1-2:00 o'clock area and you can see the moon starting to creep in.


5:52…looks like a crescent moon.


6:04…a little sliver left.

6:10That is all she wrote…or at least all we could get.DSC04567

Finally at the very end, 6:18, the sun's intensity was blocked by the moon (you could really feel the lack of normal heat from the sun on your skin). We were unable to get a good imagine of the “ring of fire” or the total eclipse. We experienced a “twilight” type of lighting from the sun. It was a pretty neat science experiment!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!


  1. Being in Indiana, it is great that people blogged about this. Thanks much! Hope you are having a super trip.

  2. We were excited because it actually cooled down into the 90's during the eclipse. You guys did great with your pinhole. I used that idea several years ago and it worked which surprised me.

  3. Thanks for sharing the eclipse with us-cool!

  4. Missed it here is FL, but glad you had a fun time with it:)

  5. I didn't see a thing. Thanks for posting all the info.

  6. Very cool photos. I would never of thought of doing the card board thing

  7. Just like watching an episode of "Bill Nye The Science Guy" on TV! I'll bet Paul got a 'A' in science class.

    I actually forgot it was happening so I missed it entirely.

  8. What a fun post. Thanks for sharing all the stages. A+++

  9. No eclipse for us; so thanks for sharing what you saw.

  10. Great post and science lesson.

  11. And everyone wonders where I got my nerdiness from!!! That turned out great!


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