up to date plan for Landon Noll

Coordinating Eclipse Observations

Here is my most up to date plan:

The following image shows my target field of view relative to the Sun during the 29 March 2006 Eclipse 80 km south of the Jalu Oasis in Libya near 28º17’53.5”N (28.2982ºN) - 21º34’10.9”E (21.5697ºE):

Landon Noll's 2006 eclipse target zone 

The above chart shows stars down to the 12th magnitude.  (A 12th magnitude Vulcanoid could be between 3.5km and 10km in diameter).  The dashed red line running through the Sun/Moon and the center of the rectangle is the ecliptici.  Zenithi is up.  The VEq red plus marks the Vernal equinox: the place where the Ecliptic and the Equator (0 deg declination) meet.  The magnitude of the brighter stars are marked by 2 or 3 digit numbers.  To get the visual magnitude, divide the number by 10.

The rectangle above is 6.4º wide and 4.3º high.  The edge of the box that is closest to the Sun is 4.1° from the center of the Sun's disk.  The far edge of the box is 10.5° from the center of the Sun.

Here is information about my camera setup:

I will shoot the above field of view with a Canon EOS 20Da Red/almost-near-IR sensitive camera and a Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens operating at f/2.8.  I will be using a B+W 72mm Infracolor Orange 099 Infrared Glass Filter to filter out light shorter than 600 nm.  With that filter, the Canon EOS 20Da camera needs a 40% longer exposure than the Canon EOS-1D Mark II N with the same lens at the same f/stop at the same ISO.

I am also planning to shoot with a Canon EOS-1D Mark II N in the visible wavelengths and a Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens operating at f/2.8.  I will be using a standard B+W 58mm UV Haze 010 filter on this camera.

Both cameras will be mounted on a Orion Sirius EQ-G GoTo Mount, setup and polar aligned during the previous evening.  Both cameras will have noise reduction turned off.  Both lenses will be on manual focus.

Both cameras will be automatically driven with a Canon TC-80N3 Timer Remote Controller device.  The timer will drive the cameras by taking a sequence of 6 second exposures separated by an internal 1 second.  The 1 second internal is forced due to the way the TC-80N3 operates, unfortunately.  I will start both cameras about 5 minuts before 2nd contact (start of totality) and let them run a few minutes after 3rd contact (end of totality). 

BTW: It is my practice to try and gain as much directly human sensory experience from the eclipse as I can. I want to be fully engaged to see, hear, feel, smell etc. as much as possible during the eclipse.  Thus I never operate with equipment during totality.  My eclipse experiments are designed to run by themselves so that I directly experience as much as I can from the event. 

Note that my 6 second exposure zenith test when the Sun was 9.25º below the ideal horizoni produces stars at magnitude 9.2.  This is a very similar result to Harro's results when the Sun was 9.24º below the ideal horizon.  We both were using 200mm lens.  And my f/2.8 ISO 100 is equivalent to his f/5.6 ISO 400.  So this agreement is a good sign.

In order to place the center of the right-hand edge (of the 6.4º wide field of view) at 10.5º from the Sun, the center of my field of view needs 7.3º from the center of the Sun.  To maximize the chance ti image a Vulcanoid, this 7.3º from the center of the Sun needs to be along the ecliptic.  I have chosen to image on the west / right-hand side of the Sun.  This means that the center of my field of view will need to be near RA 00:04:26.9 Dec +00:29:00.0.

In summary: both cameras will shoot at ISO 100.  They both will have the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens operating at f/2.8.  Both cameras will take a sequence of 6 second exposures with a 1-second pause between each exposure.  The sequence will start 5 minutes beefore 2nd contact and continue until after 3rd contact.  I will take 5 dark frames (images with the lens cap on) at 6 minutes before 2nd contact and 5 dark frames after 3rd contact.  The cameras will operate with noise reduction off, auto-rotate off, manual focus, bulb setting, image stabalizer off, and image preview off.

Comments, suggestions and corections welcome. 

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