Saturday, August 26, 2017

My goal fulfilled!

A 26 year goal has been reached

Added bonus

I can not express my happiness that my goal has been accomplished. I saw a total solar eclipse with my children. Wow!


The reaction to totality is one of emotion and excitement. To see a hole in the sky where once was the Sun is to say the least...unnerving. The corona, unable to be captured by camera as it is seen with the human eye, has a living quality. Some cry, some think about the insignificance of terrestrial problems...others contemplate the vastness of space and time...still others sense God and are comforted. Everyone has a reaction to this spectacular celestial event. Here you can see and hear the reaction just prior to, during and post totality from some of those who witnessed the event. The perspective is from the observer and not what was observed.

Waiting for first contact

The excitement starts building as first contact approaches. People are milling around. Children are playing and everyone is wondering what the big deal is...nothing seems to be happening. All that changed as second contact approached...the sky looked weird...that colors weren't right...the wind stopped and the temperature started to decrease. 

My talk the night before the eclipse

Base camp area
The night before the eclipse I gave my talk to an estimated crowd of over 350 people. They were still walking into the area just before I started. My talk was well received and many of the participants come to my set up area during the eclipse to express their appreciation for the talk. After the talk it started to rain in fits and starts but soon the night gave way to clear skies...however the wind picked up and was blowing into the cloudless sunrise on eclipse day. The locals called it but a breeze...I called it fortuitous for it blew away the clouds
Some of the attentive audience before my talk


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Diamond Ring and Flash Spectrum

Here is an unprocessed image I capture on the Corona Camera yesterday. It not only shows the Diamond Ring but also a flash spectrum! More about the expedition to follow.

Mission Accomplished!!!!!

Mission accomplished!!! The primary goal of this expedition was to see a total solar eclipse with my children... everything else was a distant second. We all made it to the base camp in Douglas, WY safe and sound. Here is a preview of what was going on just before totality. I will be posting more on the blog in the next couple of days.
The complete Papa's Great American Eclipse Expedition crew

Monday, August 14, 2017

7 days until the eclipse....Equipment Packed and Ready to Travel !!!

One week from today and the Moon will eclipse the Sun! All the equipment is packed and ready to travel. The expedition leaves for base camp in 3 days. Everyone is very excited and ready to go. Last minute provisions are being acquired...we are going to be self contained as the center line locations should be pretty much maxed out.

Friday, August 11, 2017

10 days until the to use a pin hole solar viewer

Two of the eclipse crew checking out pin hole solar viewers...notice the technique of these two budding solar astronomers! Well there are 10 days until the eclipse...plenty of time to refine the technique. Pix by MM Iadevaia

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Finishing touches on my Eclipse Talk...11 days until the eclipse!!!!

Here are the first three slides of my eclipse talk I will be giving the night before the eclipse. It is estimated that 500 people will be at the camp ground for the eclipse! Maybe I should put out a hat. :-)

Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Moon is Catching Up with the Sun!

Tonight the pursuit of the Sun by the Moon has begun. On Monday, 7 August, the Moon will be full as it moves closer toward its new moon phase in 14 days...then on 21 August, the unseen Moon captures the Sun and for about 2.5 minutes subdues its light to extinction. The Great American Eclipse has begun!

Friday, August 4, 2017



Live streaming of the eclipse and activities pertaining to the eclipse will be sporadically transmitted between 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM MDT (1400 to 2000 UTC) on the day of the total solar eclipse, 21 August 2017. Streaming will include the actual period of totality which will begin at 11:20 AM MDT (1720 UTC)... totality is at 11:45 MDT (1745 UTC). If you miss the live stream the sessions will be recorded and available on my YouTube Live Channel. If you are at one of the grandkids’ school tune into the channel and leave your computer on the channel from 8:00 AM MDT (7:00 AM Tucson time) to 2:00 PM (1:00 PM Tucson time) and anytime we transmit a segment you will see it live.

Teachers of the grandkids…the grandkids will be transmitting their reports during this time period. Their parents can send you a text when they will actually be on air. Be sure to give their parents a number to text to if you need to know specific times. That’s the best I can do. I will be extremely busy up to totality collecting data and making sure the science equipment is working properly.
The URL for my YouTube live stream as well as the recorded sessions is:

The live video stream is dependent on a trouble free satellite uplink from my satellite ground station. There will be a delay of 0.75 seconds or longer due to the round trip of 48,000 miles from my base camp to the satellite and back and bandwidth usage at the time. You will not notice this delay except the times of the activities transmitted from the base camp time stamp might differ from your local clock. That is the reason I will start the totality coverage at 11:20 AM MDT.

If the weather is not cooperating at the base camp we will be activating the escape plan and head to clear skies. The eclipse will be recorded with portable equipment and uploaded to the satellite when we return to the base camp. That video will also be available on my channel.

Shameless plug:

If you are interested in reading some fun sci-fi while you wait for totality download my book "Of Stranger Things" at:   

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Picture of the Eclipse with a Cellphone

Several people have ask me about taking a picture of the eclipse using a cellphone. There are several problems that arise. The first is if you do not have a proper solar filter covering the lens of the cellphone camera during the partial phase DO NOT try it.!!!There is a very good chance that you will fry your cellphone camera's detector. However during totality, when you remove your solar glasses, you can attempt to take an image of the eclipsed Sun. The second problem is one of focal length. Below you see two images of the taken with a cellphone at maximum zoom the other image is taken with a 600 mm focal length lens...both with proper solar filters attached...guess which is which?? Go ahead an try you never know what you might capture! Some cellphones have great zooming capabilities. Try zooming in on the Moon this week to see how big an image your cellphone camera can display. 17 days until the eclipse!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

18 days until the Eclipse...Let the packing begin!!

All testing has been completed and the equipment is now in bins..a total of 10 bins! The satellite ground station will be the last piece of equipment to be packed up. Linda is coordinating base camp organization. Elise and Wyatt are planning special meals for the entire base camp group the day and night before the eclipse. The grand kids are getting excited. Everyone is pitching in to make this a very special event. Now the weather watch begins and the escape plan has been made but hopefully not have to be implemented...but the goal is to see the eclipse...the science in this case is secondary...because I will be with my children for a total solar eclipse...I have waited 26 years for this!