CHASING THE SHADOW, HALF WAY AROUND THE WORLD. By Nomi and Alberto Levy

As an avid eclipse chaser, one always wonders if you selected the right

spot along the totality path of a solar eclipse and hope for clear skies on

that day. This time Turkey had good chances, and the city of Kastamonu had

accommodations for a small group of (11) Americans, Mexicans and Israelis, as

well as a guide tour and driver in a small air conditioned bus.

At 6:00am on eclipse day, a shocking low cloud cover awakened us in an

instant, and right away we began plans to move out. As the morning progressed

some blue patches of sky began to appear. We arrived a couple of hours later to

a small local airport where a group of Japanese eclipse chasers were mounting

their scopes and cameras. Scouting the area and only a few hundred yards from

them, my wife Nomi discovered a beautiful clear opening in a pine tree forest,

that provided a very comfortable shade and natural surroundings. The sky was

clear by then. We set up our equipment, and waited for first contact, but at

minus 15 minutes, clouds began to fill the sky and a worrisome face showed on

everyone. We missed first contact and we wished not to miss totality.

I had planned for a sequence shot every 10 minutes in one slide frame. The

slide tells the story with four missing shots as well as a photo taken by my

daughter Essy that includes Venus, totality and a cloud approaching the corona.

My equipment consisted of two 80mm. Dia. F/6.25 refractors, mounted on a

plataform side by side on a portable self designed mount. Both with Barlow

lenses to increase the effective focal length. One telescope with a 35mm

camera shot partial phases, diamond rings and prominences. On the second

telescope, an adapted body of a medium format camera and a home made designed

vignetting disk in the light path, that creates a similarity with a radial

density filter. The corona photograph is from a single medium format negative,

printed in my garage darkroom. No stacking or digitizing.

After the eclipse we packed and continued our tour in Turkey, a beautiful

country with very interesting history of ancient cultures, the Ottoman Empire

and the new Republic, with a thriving clothing, ceramic and carpet industries,

great produce and most of all, very nice and warm people. Yes, we left the day

before the terrible earthquake and we feel a great sorrow for those people and

their significant loss.

Photo 1.- Diamond Ring and prominences. 80mm refractor at f/16

Kodak Royal Gold 100 ASA, exp. 1/1000sec.

Photo 2.- Baily’s Beads, same as above

Photo 3.- Totality and Solar Prominences, same as above

Photo 4.- Detailed Solar Corona and prominences. 80 mm refractor at f/13

Film: Agfa Optima, 100 ASA, medium format #120, exp: 1.5 sec.,

Hat shutter

With a vignetting disk in the light path. Some darkroom

dodging.

Photo 5.- Second Diamond Ring and Bead. Same as in photo #1.

Essy Levy’s photos.

Photo 6.- Totality and Venus, in a cloud gap.

Zoom to a 100 mm. F/5, Fujicolor 100 ASA, Exp: ˝ sec.