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日食(京都) Solar Eclipse (Kyoto) – May 21st 2012

I had almost forgot that it was going to be a solar eclipse until my friend reminded me the night before. If I was back in California, I heard that we could see it partially, but since I’m in Japan, I will get the perfect chance to see it. I feel pretty lucky, as last time I got the see the lunar eclipse back in California.

I got up at 6am, got on the computer to check some info, then I headed out to this open field facing the East.

And this was where the sun was…behind a whole bunch of clouds.

Facing East.

Facing West. This felt pretty unfair at the time.

As the sun got higher though, the clouds thinned out, and so my worry was gone pretty soon afterwards.

I didn’t have any special equipment, and in order to take decent photos, I held my monocular in front of my camera. Unfortunately, I did not have my good binocular with me, just my weaker monocular.

7:00 am

The section above shows the initial 22 minutes of the eclipse.

Without the zooming lens power of the monocular, you can hardly see it.

7:24 am

The photo above was taken at 7:36 am.
The photo below was taken at 7:41 am.

During that 5 minute gap, I guess I missed the totality. Judging from how it has looked like so far though, I can’t imagine that it looked all that amazing. Still a pity that I missed it though.

7:42 am

With the totality passed, the eclipse begun to end with the moon moving further and further away from the sun.

Cannot see anything with unaided eyes.

And it’s close to being over by around 7:52 am.

I had heard that the sky darkens during a solar eclipse, but this photo was produced with shutter speed 1/320, aperture f/32, and ISO Lo 1.

But in real life, it looked like this.

In Kyoto, the solar eclipse wasn’t very amazing. In part, I blame myself for not having my good binocular, which might have made a difference in the quality of the photos I took. I also heard that a little more to the south, such as Osaka, had better views than Kyoto did. Some photos I have seen that was taken in Tokyo looked much better as well. As a rare astronomic phenomenon, I’m still glad that I have at least seen it.


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