2012 Annular Solar Eclipse Photo Gallery
The path of the annular solar eclipse of 2012 May 20 started in China, crossed Japan and the North Pacific before sweeping the west and southwest USA. NASA's 2012 annular eclipse page has detailed predictions and maps of this astronomical event.
My wife Pat and I planned to observe the eclipse in western Texas where the annular phase would occur just before sunset. Because of weather forecast 2 days before the eclipse, we abandoned our for Lubbock, TX and decided to explore eastern New Mexico. Driving across the central line between Roswell and Portales, I discovered a wonderful photo opportunity. The San Juan Mesa Wind Farm was visible on the northwestern horizon and would make a great foreground as the eclipsed sun set on May 20.
We decided to stay in Portales, NM the night before the eclipse since it was within 30 miles of the central line. The afternoon before the eclipse, we drove down to the central line and scouted a location that would give us a good view of sunset with the giant wind turbines in the foreground.
On eclipse day, the weather was touch-and-go in Portales, but weather models as satellite images suggested that it would clear before sunset. Although I knew there much better weather was within a 2-hour drive to the west, I wanted to photograph the eclipsed Sun setting behind the wind turbines along Highway 70, so we waited out the clouds. Just as predicted, the weather improved during the day and it was actually much better south near the central line.
Our eclipse site was along Rt. 70, about 3.5 miles southwest of Elida, NM and 1.4 miles northeast of Central Line. As the partial phases began, the sky contained just a few anemic clouds that never blocked our view of the Sun. The annular phase occurred only 2.4 degrees above the horizon, but the most stunning sight was the 0.79 magnitude eclipsed Sun setting behind the wind turbines. What a wonderful juxtaposition of solar and wind power.
In spite of operating four DSLR's, I managed to frequently enjoy the view through eclipse glasses. By the time the partially eclipsed Sun set behind the wind turbines, we could look directly at the Sun although it was still very bright. Below is a small selection of photos taken of the eclipse. I hope to add more as well as video soon.
Click on each thumbnail below to see a larger image and description.