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Solar Eclipse Photo Gallery 1

1970 - 1984

Photographs by Fred Espenak

1970 Mar 07 Total Solar Eclipse
1970 Total Solar Eclipse
This sequence encompasses the entire eclipse from start to finish.
Total Solar Eclipse of 1970 March 7 (Windsor, NC)

In 1970, I was a high school student and an amateur astronomer so I thought that the solar eclipse passing along the east coast of the U.S. would be a once in a lifetime experience that I couldn't pass up. I convinced my parents to loan me their car for the 500 mile drive, in spite of the fact that I'd only been driving for a few months. I wanted to drive to Florida where the eclipse lasted longer, but I was exhausted by the time I reached NC. And the little motel I found in Windsor was be an ideal place to watch the eclipse. Many others had the same idea, because the field behind the motel was filled with people, telescopes and cameras on eclipse day.

I had read all I could about solar eclipses, but I was quite unprepared for the experience of totality. It was electrifying, sublime, awesome and humbling all at the same time. I managed to make a couple photographs of the total eclipse, but they pale in comparison to the images of the event that were burned into my mind's eye. I knew that I just had to see another eclipse because it all happened way too fast. Before my equipment was even packed into the car, I was already dreaming about traveling to Quebec for the total eclipse in 1972! Since then, I've traveled to many eclipses around the world.

The following photo gallery displays some of the eclipse images I've been privileged to make over the past 29 years. I'll add more images as time permits. I hope the photos inspire some of you to travel into the path of totality and witness for yourself nature's greatest spectacle! Enjoy!

Below is a small selection of photos obtained past three decades. For more eclipse images, visit all the photo galleries: 1970 - 1984 | 1990 - 1994 | 1995 - 1999

Blue Bar

Click on each image below to see a larger photo.

70FE1
Espenak prepares for
1970 Total Eclipse
(70FE1)

Espenak prepares for the 1970 Total Eclipse (70FE1)

During his first total solar eclipse in 1970, Fred Espenak traveled to Windsor, NC. He photographed the eclipse with a 60mm f/16 Japanese refractor (f.l. = 910mm).

Total Solar Eclipse of 1970 March 07 (Windsor, NC)
Photo 1970 by Fred Espenak

70SE2-C
Diamond Ring Effect During
1970 Total Eclipse
(70SE2-C)

Diamond Ring Effect During 1970 Eclipse (70SE2-C)

In the final seconds before totality begins, the crescent Sun shrinks down into a bright 'diamond' along the Moon'a limb. At the same time, the sky grows dark and the solar corona appears silhouetting the Moon's black disk.

Total Solar Eclipse of 1970 March 07 (Windsor, NC)
60mm f/15 achromatic refractor (f.l. = 910mm)
Photo 1970 by Fred Espenak

70SEg1-B
Venus and Corona
During 1970 Eclipse
(70SEg1-B)

Venus and Corona During 1970 Eclipse (70SEg1-B)

During the 1970 total eclipse, the Sun's corona is directly visible to the naked eye as is the planet Venus to the upper left. Photo was made with a 35mm camera and a 50mm f/2 lens during the total solar eclipse of 1970.

Total Solar Eclipse of 1970 March 07 (Windsor, NC)
50mm f/2, 1 second, Ektachrome-X (ISO 64)
Photo 1970 by Fred Espenak

T1970Mosaic
Mosaic of 1970
Total Solar Eclipse
(T1970Mosaic)

Mosaic of the 1970 Total Solar Eclipse (T1970Mosaic)

Adobe PhotoShop was used to create a composite showing the various stages of the total eclipse of 1970. The original images were taken at 2 minute intervals with a 60mm f/15 Japanese refractor (f.l. = 910mm).

Total Solar Eclipse of 1970 March 07 (Windsor, NC)
60mm f/15 achromatic refractor (f.l. = 910mm)
Photo 1970 by Fred Espenak

T70Anim1
Animation of the
1970 Total Solar Eclipse
(T70Anim1)

Animation of the 1970 Total Solar Eclipse (T70Anim1)

Adobe ImageReady was used to animate the still photographs of the total eclipse of 1970. The original images were taken at 2 minute intervals with a 60mm f/16 Japanese refractor (f.l. = 910mm).

Total Solar Eclipse of 1970 March 07 (Windsor, NC)
60mm f/15 achromatic refractor (f.l. = 910mm)
Photo 1970 by Fred Espenak

TSE73
Solar Corona
During the 1973 Eclipse
(TSE73)

Solar Corona During the 1973 Eclipse (TSE73)

The total solar eclipse of 1973 June 30, was the Saros predecessor of the great 1991 eclipse (Hawaii & Mexico). In this case, the path of totality crossed the Atlantic, the Sahara Desert and East Africa. Espenak traveled to Mauritania to witness a total phase lasting over 6 minutes.

Total Solar Eclipse of 1973 June 30 (Akjoujt, MAURITANIA)
Nikkormat FTN, 400mm f/6.3 Spiratone lens
Photo 1973 by Fred Espenak

79SE-FE
Espenak and
1979 Eclipse
(79SE-FE)

Espenak and 1979 Eclipse (79SE-FE)

The last total solar eclipse visible from the continental U.S. and Canada occurred on 1979 February 26. The path of totality ran through the Pacific Northwest and westren Canada. Espenak traveled to Riverton, Manitoba where he photographed the eclipse with a 60mm f/15 Japanese refractor.

Total Solar Eclipse of 1979 February 26 (Riverton, MANITOBA)
Photo 1979 by Fred Espenak

79SE2-4
Diamond Ring Effect
During 1979 Eclipse
(79SE2-4)

Diamond Ring Effect During 1979 Eclipse (79SE2-4)

The last rays of sunlight shine through deep lunar valleys as the solar corona leaps into view. This eclipse was also noteworthy for the brilliant red solar prominences visible around the Moon's limb.

Total Solar Eclipse of 1979 February 26 (Riverton, MANITOBA)
60mm f/15 achromatic refractor (f.l. = 910mm)
Photo 1979 by Fred Espenak

79Isophote
Isophote Map of
1979 Solar Corona
(79Isophote)

Isophote Map of 1979 Solar Corona (79Isophote)

To study the brightness distribution and shape of the corona, Espenak spent hours in the darkroom perfecting the isophote process. Isophotes are contours of equal brightness or intensity. The false colors are helpfull in separating adjacent isophotes from each other.

Total Solar Eclipse of 1979 February 26 (Riverton, MANITOBA)
Nikkormat FTN, 400mm f/6.3 Spiratone lens
Photo 1979 by Fred Espenak

xxx
Solar Corona
During 1980 Eclipse
(TSE80.Corona)

Solar Corona During 1980 Eclipse (TSE80.Corona)

The solar corona is only visible during a total eclipse of the Sun. This super-heated gas has a temperature of 2 million degrees.

Total Solar Eclipse of 1980 February 26 (Bantul, KENYA)
Nikkormat FTn, 500mm f/8 Tamron mirror lens
Photo 1980 by Fred Espenak

83SE1-22
Diamond Ring Effect
1983 Total Eclipse
(83SE1-22)

Diamond Ring Effect - 1983 Total Eclipse (83SE1-22)

The first rays of sunlight burst through deep lunar valleys as the solar eclipse ends. The solar corona fades from view in seconds as brilliant daylight returns and plans begin for the next total eclipse.

Total Solar Eclipse of 1983 June 06 (Java, INDONESIA)
Nikkormat FTn, Celestron 90 (f.l.=1000mm, f/11), Ektachrome 160
Photo 1983 by Fred Espenak

A1984Mosaic
Mosaic of
1984 Annular Eclipse
(A1984Mosaic)

Mosaic of 1984 Annular Eclipse (A1984Mosaic)

Beaded annular eclipses are fairly rare. They occur when the vertex of the Moon's umbral shadow just falls short of Earth's surface. The Moon then forms such a close fit with the Sun, that a string of Baily's Beads shines around the limb of the Moon during the few brief seconds of 'broken annularity.' These are beads of sunlight which shine through the lowest valleys around the Moon's limb.

Adobe PhotoShop was used to create a composite showing the various stages of this unusual beaded annular eclipse. The original images taken about 5 seconds apart with a Bausch and Lomb 4000 (4" SCT).

Beaded Annular Solar Eclipse of 1984 May 30 (Greensboro, NC)
Nikkormat FTn, Bausch and Lomb 4000 (4" SCT; fl = 1400mm)
Photo 1984 by Fred Espenak

A84Anim1
Animation of
1984 Annular Eclipse
(A84Anim1)

Animation of 1984 Annular Eclipse (A84Anim1)

Adobe ImageReady was used to animate the still photographs of the beaded annular eclipse of 1984. The original images were taken at approximately 5 second intervals with a Bausch and Lomb 4000 (4" SCT).

Beaded Annular Solar Eclipse of 1984 May 30 (Greensboro, NC)
Nikkormat FTn, Bausch and Lomb 4000 (4" SCT; fl = 1400mm)
Photo 1984 by Fred Espenak

Solar Eclipse Photographs

Copyright Notice

All photographs, text and web pages are © Copyright 2006 by Fred Espenak, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. They may not be reproduced, published, copied or transmitted in any form, including electronically on the Internet or WWW, without written permission of the author. The photos have been digitally watermarked.

The photographs may be licensed for commercial, editorial, and educational use. Contact Espenak (at MrEclipse) for photo use in print, web, video, CD and all other media.

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WebMaster: MrEclipse
Last revised: 2006 Oct 20