I was reviewing the photos I took of the recent solar eclipse when I noticed something interesting. Visible in some of the pictures is a white dot near the sun. During the peak of the eclipse there are two dots visible.
I’m really curious what those white dots are. I’m guessing they could be stars or neighboring planets. Whatever they are, they’re shining bright enough to be seen in the afternoon sky. Time to consult my astronomy apps to see if I can identify what they are.
Next Monday, August 21, 2017, is a solar eclipse that will be visible across the United States, including my home state of Florida. I may not get to see the total eclipse here but it should still be spectacular viewing nonetheless.
I got the solar viewing glasses from my neighborhood Walmart and did some experimenting on which camera I will use to take pictures of the sun. I have a Samsung Galaxy On5 smartphone and a Canon PowerShot A530 camera but wasn’t sure which one would take better pictures.
To take these pictures, I positioned one of the protective lenses of the viewing glasses over the camera lens before aiming it at the sun. I took this first picture using the smartphone. I switched the camera to Pro mode, where I was able to control the exposure settings and also used the zoom function for an enlarged view.
Although I tried to adjust the exposure settings to let in as little light as possible, the glare of the sun ended up distorting the final picture. I don’t think this will work.
Next I used the Canon camera. I set the ISO mode to 80, the shutter speed at 1/80 and zoomed in as close as I could get.
A much clearer view. There’s still time for me to experiment with the other shutter speeds to see which one gets the clearest view of the sun, but I now know for sure I’ll be using the Canon for the eclipse. I will post the best pictures here.
“Stop!” said the chain link fence. “Who would cross the Chain Link Fence of Doom must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.”
Not far from where I live in West Palm Beach is the newly opened Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, which serves as training camps for the Washington Nationals and the Houston Expos. I decided to venture over there during my bike ride.
On one side of the parking lot is a big red W, no doubt marking the entrance to Nationals territory.
And on the other side is a white H for Houston.
One thing I really like about the park is the sidewalk that runs behind the fields along the north side. One end starts at the entrance on Haverhill Road and runs to the other side on Military Trail while bypassing the traffic. Nice.
I really wanted to get a picture of one of the fields from outside the fence, but the fence was nearly covered with a screen-like fabric except for a bare section close to the ground. So I kneeled on the ground behind the fence, held the camera between the chain links and got this shot.
After taking this picture, I continued riding along the sidewalk when I saw a police car, also on the sidewalk, driving towards me. Did the officer see me kneeling behind the fence? The police car passed me by without incident so maybe this was just a coincidence. Either way I took nothing but pictures.
I’ll have to come back for another visit when the teams are in town. I’m also curious what goes on here during football season. In any case, I shall return.
These pictures were taken with a Samsung Galaxy On5 phone, with some of them taken in panorama mode.