Thursday, October 23, 2014

Partial Solar Eclipse Seen From Wickiup Hill

October 23, 2014 will be remembered for a spectacular late day solar eclipse around Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The first contact time (the time when the moon initially started its journey across the sun) of roughly 4:33 pm was completely obscured by a thick cloud deck. Later, about 5:15 pm the clouds began to part but did not totally disappear. Acting as a filter, the clouds allowed glimpses of the sun-moon-earth dance.

Look closely at the image of the sun. Those two dots near the solar disc center are actually solar sunspots, extremely large solar storms often larger than the earth. The cloud deck not only acted as a natural filter but also added a dramatic effect to these images.

Finally near 6:02 pm the sun neared the western horizon and shone through a thick atmosphere, turning visibly redder. These scenes were taken from the nature area called Wickiup Hill located north of Cedar Rapids, near the Cedar River.