2003 Total Solar Eclipse

2003EclipseComp3TCropUSM(50.jpg (25072 bytes)

The 2003 total solar eclipse was visible only from Antarctica and from the Southern Ocean which made it relatively inaccessible to all but the most dedicated eclipse chasers. TravelQuest and LanChile arranged for a chartered flight in an Airbus A340 over Antarctica to view the eclipse. The flight originated from Punta Arenas in southern Chile and flew into the path of totality. The flight path was selected so that the eclipse would be viewable off the port side of the aircraft, and also to use the aircraft's own motion to extend the duration of totality by an additional 29 seconds. The exposures for this image were taken by Robert Stephens through a window in the aircraft and then scanned and digitally processed by me. The cyan color of the corona approximates what I saw through binoculars out a window of the aircraft. This image was published in the February 2004 issue of Sky & Telescope.

Instrument: Minolta zoom lens, working at 300mm
F-ratio: f/5.6
Exposures: 1/750 (x2), 1/60 (x2), 1/30 (x2), 1/15 (x2), 1/8 (x2), and 1/4 second (x2)
Film: Kodak Max 400
Date: November 23, 2003
Location: Airbus A340, over Antarctica at 78 deg. 41 min. S, 51 deg. 52 min. E during mideclipse
Technical Notes: Individual matching exposures were blended in pairs to reduce noise. The six resulting images were combined using Layer Masks in Photoshop 7.0 to create a composite image. The composite image was sharpened by subtracting an unsharp mask created using a radial blur of 10 pixels at an opacity of 50 percent.

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