Fascination solar eclipse – a hit with the crowds

Sonnenfinsternis Andor Kamera Rechner
Dr. Thorsten Pieper und Christian Iser record the event with Andor sCMOS-camera Zyla
Solar eclipse moment before maximum occultation
LOT-QD colleagues Eveline Schreder and Petra Lorenz enjoying the event

Until the early modern period, a solar eclipse was considered an ominous sign of the gods. On the other hand, it was a solar eclipse that ended the bloodshed between the medes and lydians in the year 581 BC.

A scientific approach to the analysis of natural phenomena was already taken as early as the ancient times and the establishment of the heliocentric view of the world by Kopernikus and Keppler gave new impetus to research. The deep fascination with natural spectacles continues until today.

On 20 March 2015, we had the chance to witness another solar eclipse in parts of Africa and Asia and in all of Europe. In Central Europe, the moon covered between 60 and 85 % of the sun. Around Europe, many people were attracted by the event – just like the LOT-QD team.

Since looking directly into the sun is highly dangerous, the eyes had to be protected by special glasses and filters. Juergen Fischbach, renowned LOT-QD filter expert, had prepared a variety of filters to protect us from hazardous radiation and allow us to enjoy this astronomic spring highlight safely. Thorsten Pieper, our camera specialist, recorded the eclipse with an Andor Zyla-4.2-USB3 camera with 4.2 megapixel (objective Exakta 70-210 mm, aperture f/22, exposure time 10 ms, Baader AstroSolar sunfilter foil OD 3.5 and a reflective Andover ND-filter on glass with OD 1.3).

Progress of the solar eclipse in the sky above Freiburg recorded with a digital camera. Courtesy of Dr. Christian Bethge, Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik
We received this picture from Teneriffa taken on the morning of 20 March. Courtesy of Dr. Dirk Soltau, Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik



Alessandro Baratti
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