Friday, March 20, 2015

Solar Eclipse

It was not quite how I planned it. Due to ticket mixup I was stuck in Stavanger, Norway, the night before the eclipse. I took a morning flight instead. I arrived back in Trondheim at the airport at 10 am on 20.March, right when the solar eclipse started. I could never get home to get my good camera in time, so I decided to just stay where I was and see what I could see and what I could take a picture of with my phone.

On the roof of the parking garage at the airport I could look at the reflection of the sun off the back window of my car and watch the sun slowly turning into a sliver. I could see it well, but it was too much for my phone.

A big cloud rolled in, so I got in my car and left the airport, driving west towards a break in the clouds. It got darker and darker. I took a short video from the car window as I drove. A frame from the video caught the sunlight through a cloud, dim enough for my camera to remember. Click on the photo to see a bigger version and you can see the thin crescent shape of the sun about to vanish.

I found an okay spot to stop. I punch a hole in a piece of paper and looked at the pinhole projection on another sheet I put under the rear wiper of my car. I lamented the fact that I had planned to find a place on campus where the sun would come through many holes, like through the leaves of a tree or one of the many wire meshes around my building. I thought many little holes would make a cool composite image. Then it occurred to me I could make own right there. So I punched a bunch of holes, in the shape of the crescent I was seeing on the paper.

I couldn't punch the holes with the precision I would have liked to have had if I weren't standing in a parking lot holding a sheet of paper and a pencil with the minutes ticking away. I am however satisfied with my fractal eclipse:

It was not the total eclipse like they experienced a few hours north in Svalbard, and the clouds dampened the experience a bit. But all in all given the circumstances, I think it was pretty good solar eclipse experience!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Course in USA

Taught a class in Pennsylvania... via video. One hour with a group of gifted kids in 3rd - 5th grade. Fun! Activities, poetry, music, art.