Astrophotography by Anthony Ayiomamitis

Solar and Lunar Eclipse Image Gallery

Solar eclipses have been regarded as mystical ever since man started to become aware of his environment. In spite of the fact the diameter of the sun is 400x that of the moon, its distance from earth is also approximately 400x that of the moon and, as a result, they exhibit a very similar apparent diameter. When these two celestial bodies are in perfect alignment with earth by forming a straight line, we see the moon virtually cover the sun from limb to limb, leading to a darkening of the daytime skies with totality lasting a number of minutes. Although lunar eclipses are relatively very common, solar eclipses are not only much more dramatic thanks to totality but also very rare. With a lunar eclipse where the moon is covered by the earth's shadow, the portion of the world in darkness at the time of the eclipse is able to see the moon go through the various stages of eclipse. In contrast, with a solar eclipse where the moon lies between the sun and earth, an event which occurs on average 70 times per century, the shadow cast by the moon on earth represents the path of totality which is never more than 200 miles wide and, inevitably, covers less than 0.5% of the planet's surface and frequently traverses open waters and very remote locations near the poles. Furthermore, since the distance of the moon from earth is variable, there exist occasions during a solar eclipse where the moon is slightly further away from the earth ("apogee") and is not able to fully cover the solar disk, thus leading to an eclipsed solar disk where a small ring ("annulus") around the sun's limb is visible, thus leading to an annular solar eclipse. The observation of a solar eclipse may be considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and fully justifies the dedicated collection of eclipse chasers who trek around the globe marvelling a solar eclipse wherever it may occur.

Note: The image below represents the (partial) solar eclipse at local maximum for Athens, Greece with a depth of about 43.2%.


Total Solar Eclipse: 2015-03-20
Stage
C-1
C-2
Max
C-3
C-4
Description
Umbra
(External Contact)
Umbra Complete
(Start of Totality)
Maximum
(Totality)
Penumbra
(End of Totality)
Penumbra
(Internal Contact)
Time (UT+2)
10:39:31
N/A
11:43:41
N/A
12:49:50
Az / Alt
43.54 / +139.21
---.-- / ---.--
49.89 / +161.81
---.-- / ---.--
51.31 / +186.90


Image Details
Partial Solar Eclipse: 2015-03-20
Imaging Details
Body:
Sun

Mass:
332,900 x Earth

Mean Eq Diameter:
109.1 x Earth

Distance:
149 million km

RA / Dec:
23h 58m 01s /
-00 12' 58"


Diameter:
32.12'

Magnitude:
-26.8

Saros Series:
120

Magnitude:
Ecl center1.045
Local0.432

Duration:
2h 10m 19s
Date:
Mar 20, 2015
11:43:41 UT+2


Location:
Athens, Greece

Equipment:
AP 160 f/7.5 StarFire EDF
AP 2x Conv Barlow
AP 1200/CP3 GEM
Canon EOS 5D Mk I
Baader UV/IR-Cut Filter
Baader ND-5 (full-aperture)


Exposure:
1 x 1/250 sec
ISO 100
RAW image format
4368x2912 image size
Manual Mode


Software:
Photoshop CS5

Processing:
Grayscale
Unsharp Masking
Brightness/Contrast
Levels
Resampling
JPG Compression