SE Newsletter December 1998

General: Baily's beads

From: Timo Karhula [email protected] To: [email protected] Subject: [SE] How to view Baily's beads safely?

Dear Eclipse Watchers, I'm new to this mail-list and I have a question. I have only seen one total solar eclipse, that in Finland in July 1990, which was partially obscured by clouds. I will observe the next annular eclipse on Feb 16 1999 from near Geraldton, Western Australia. Since it will be an almost total eclipse, 99.1% from the west coast, I suppose Baily's beads will be fleetingly visible and perhaps even prominences and the corona.

What is the best method to visually view these phenomena? Can they be seen without optical aid (magnification) at all? There are always the risk of eye injuries so I won't be using binoculars directly at the Sun. Clear Skies, /Timo Timo Karhula "Amateur astronomers are E-mail: [email protected] nocturnal creatures" ICBM: +59d52'13" +16d05'22"

From: [email protected] Subject: [SE] How to view Baily's beads safely? To: [email protected]

I doubt that Baily's beads will be visible, and the corona certainly is not expected to be visible. The sun is about 1 million times brighter than the full moon, so even if 0.9 per cent of the sun is visible, that means it is about 9000 times brighter than the moon, making the sky too bright to see the Baily's beads or corona. So, basically, you need the same eye protection filters that you need for all partial eclipses. You can make an image of the crescent and annular phases using eyepiece projection or with a filter on a telephoto lens (>500 mm preferred). Jay Pasachoff

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