Thursday, January 6, 2011

Amazing Photography: Teeny Tiny Eclipse of the Heart (I mean Sun)

I am definitely not a photographer, but sometimes it is cool to see what photo takers are doing to see how they see the world. It is a great source of inspiration and sometimes the results are amazing. Below is a picture of the recent partial solar eclipse viewed on the other side of the world.

By Thierry Legault
What a spectacular image. The orb of the sun is so crisp and you can see details on the lunar surface. But there is something else you should take note of in that picture. First there are several dark spots on the surface of the sun, those are sun spots. Second there is a very special dark object in front of the sun. That is the International Space Station passing in front of the sun (click to see larger image and look towards the top).

Here is a close up:

According to Bad Astronomy Mr. Legault traveled to Oman to get this photo because of the trajectory of the ISS around the Earth. This photo is extremely impressive for several reasons. First, because of the great lengths the photographer took to get this photo (I have no clue what equipment was needed, a camera, an awesome lens/telescope, solar filter, traveling to Oman, etc). Second, this is a once in a lifetime shot. Third the extreme difficulty of the picture. 

According to the blog, the travel time of the ISS across the solar surface was 1 second! Apparently Legualt has a knack for these kinds of shots though:
And again another closeup:
The details in both images of the ISS is just staggering. Stef got a new (pretty awesome) telescope for Christmas and I want to set that thing up with a digital camera to try and get some pretty badass pictures, and Mr. Legault's work is just the inspiration I need.

If you, like me, are further intrigued by this man's photographs from space check out his website. He's got some pretty spectacular images of galaxies, nebulae, and more shots of the ISS in front of the sun. There are even a couple with the ISS docking with the space shuttle in front of the sun!

1 comment:

Dad said...

Ant,
that is an amazing set of photos and a great post. I have no doubt that you have the capacity to take pictures like that... with that kind of clarity and artistic value. as you mention it was very inspiring.

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