Total Solar Eclipse - 22 July 2009
Anji - Zheijiang - China

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Tianhuangping Hydro Plant Reservoir from the Eclipse Viewing Site

 

Introduction

The total solar eclipse on Wednesday, 22nd July 2009 was the longest-duration eclipse of the 21st century. It was visible along a line extending from India to the Pacific Ocean. Detailed technical information about this eclipse can be found on the NASA website.

My photographs were taken at the Anji viewing site in Zheijiang province, China, which was a mountain-top site inland from Shanghai, located at N 30 28' 1.60", E 119 35' 41.12" (by my GPS). This viewing site was on the rim of the upper reservoir of the Tianhuangping pumped storage hydroelectric plant and provided a clear sky view. Conditions at the time of the eclipse were fairly good for visual observation but scattered high cloud interfered with scientific measurements. Chinese television were present on the site and a synopsis of their report can be found at http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-07/22/content_11754821.htm

The eclipse started (first contact) at about 8:20am local (Beijing) time, with totality lasting for over 5 minutes at this location. All times on the following photographs are local times, as recorded on-camera.

Observers at Anji - 08:25am

Partial phase - 08:46am

Partial phase - 09:03am

Partial phase - 09:22am

Observers at Anji - 09:20am

Diamond Ring - 09:33am

Sky View with Venus ---- 09:37am

Maximum Totality - 09:36am

Sky View during Totality - 09:36am

"I saw it!"

Observers at Anji - 09:39am

"We saw it!"

 

Technical

I took most of the above photographs with a Panasonic Lumix TZ5 camera, which I found to be an excellent travel camera, with a good Leica DC 28 - 280mm (equiv) lens and high-resolution (460k dot) viewing screen. Be aware that the newer TZ-series models require a proprietary battery containing a security-coded microchip. I used four non-proprietary S007 batteries during my visit to China, which cost 5 each.

For the fisheye shots, I used a Canon Powershot A630 camera, with a Canon LA-DC58F lens adapter carrying a Panagor Semi-Fisheye Converter. In these fisheye shots, I needed to darken the central moon because of lens flare. Other shots have not been altered, although 'Contrast' and 'Levels' were adjusted in Photoshop, and Neat Image noise reduction was applied.

Both cameras were mounted on mini-tripods, set up on the wave wall of the reservoir, for all shots during totality. The Canon was set in shutter priority mode with 1 sec exposure during totality. The Panasonic was set to 'Landscape' or 'Night Scenery' modes, with -2 stops compensation during the partial phase and with a solar viewing filter over the lens (hence the amber colour in the partial photos)

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All text and photographs on this website are Copyright Mike Flemming.