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An Eclipse of the Sun May 20, 2012

Updated on August 20, 2013
Typical Partial Eclpse of the Sun.
Typical Partial Eclpse of the Sun.

Yesterday, May 20th, 2012. At about 4:30 p.m. I heard there was going to be a partial eclipse of the sun. So I frantically did a google search and found that in our area, Anaheim California, it was to start at 5:25 p.m. and end at 7:48 p.m. PDT.

The information gave several ways of viewing the eclipse and cautioned not to look directly into the sun as it could damage your vision. I remember being in grammar school when our entire class was given strips of photo negative film to view an eclipse. But the Internet article did not mention that. I thought maybe it was because we are now using digital cameras and the film is not readily available.

They did however mention several safe ways of viewing an eclipse. They included:

  • Using binoculars, but not to look through them - project the image onto white paper.
  • Pin hole in cardboard projected onto a white paper
  • Pin hole camera box
  • Welders mask with a number 14 shade.
  • Special glasses made for viewing the eclipse

I also found that using negative film is not safe when viewing an Annular Eclipse.

The following shows the setup that we decided on and the pictures that we were able to take during the eclipse.

Our Setup

Our setup
Our setup | Source

Partial Eclipse, Enhanced in Picasa


Eclipse as projected on White Board


Multiple Images


This pictures shows multiple images of the eclipse. It turns out that during the eclipse anything that forms an aperture will project an image. These images were projected by the sunlight shining through the holes formed by leaves in a tree casting multiple shadows onto a wall.

Another way this can be done is by crossing your hands above your head and forming your fingers into a waffle pattern. Then you stand with your back to the sun and sun will cast shadows of the eclipse through the holes formed by crossed fingers. The kids had a great time with this and were projecting images of the eclipse on walls, the street, and many other things.

Eerie Feeling from the Eclipse

When the eclipse had reached it's maximum coverage, the shadows became very long; it became cooler, and the sunlight was like an eerie twilight. I can now understand why ancient people thought there was some type of spirit that was eating the sun. They would beat drums and make loud noises and even sacrifice virgins to make it go away. Then one day, someone found that if they did nothing it would still go away...and that was the start of the scientific process.


This was a great quickie project and it was fun sharing with the kids and with you. We only have to wait 22 more years for anothe eclipse of this type.


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    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      Lipnancy: I'm glad you got to see the images. Thanks for dropping by.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Great images. Sorry that I missed it. It is so cool.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      Thelma Alberts: I'm glad you liked it.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      What an event! Thanks for sharing this to us. Good photos and very nice set-up;D

    • profile image

      Bing 5 years ago

      Another very informative and interesting topic Mike. Thank you and keep it coming!

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      ChristyWrites: Thank you for the compliment. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing your experience, complete with photos! I did not have an experience with the eclipse but this is the next best thing!

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      Greekgeek: Thank you so much. We must be neighbors. We both live in the OC. I hope you do make it to Jackson Hole. That will make a great hub.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      dmop: Thank you for your comments. I'm glad you found it interesting. It was great for the kids.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      Thanks for dropping by I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image

      Melissa Flagg COA OSC 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I watched this online and it was simply amazing!! It actually made a great homeschooling lesson as well!

    • dmop profile image

      dmop 5 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      Thanks for sharing this; such a cool Hub about a rare event. Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Greekgeek profile image

      Ellen 5 years ago from California

      Well done! Very nice set-up, good photos, and kudos to the future scientists!

      After my own experiences photographing the eclipse yesterday from the OC Great Park, I'm tempted to book a room in Jackson Hole for the 2017 eclipse... it'll miss us, but it's going to be total up north!