2017 Solar Eclipse

A total solar eclipse over Southern Illinois
Eclipse progression, captured with a Sony RX100 and a makeshift solar filter crafted from deconstructed eclipse glasses. Frames are approximately 7 minutes apart leading to totality. The final unfiltered frame is a 1/60 second exposure at f/5.6, ISO 125. (download)

On 21 August, a total solar eclipse crossed North America, the first visible from the mainland United States since 1979. After a morning drive with an eye on passing cloud cover, friends and I ended up at the Fults Hill Prairie Nature Preserve near Prairie du Rocher, Illinois to be in the path of totality.

While Carbondale, Illinois, was a popular viewing destination as the city nearest the point of greatest duration, cloud clover ultimately disrupted all but the final few seconds of totality there. But just 100 km to the northwest, we had a generally unobstructed view throughout the eclipse. The timelapse video captures the few thin, wispy clouds that passed overhead during the early stages, which cleared as totality approached.

I didn’t have a proper solar filter for either of my cameras, so I removed the solar film from a pair of paper eclipse glasses and taped it over the front element of my compact camera using painter’s tape. This allowed me to capture the day’s event via a filtered time-series progression and an unfiltered timelapse video.

An unfiltered timelapse of the eclipse from just outside Prairie du Rocher, Illinois