Partial Solar Eclipse

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Last weekend, as I was flipping through the newspaper, I accidentally saw a small article informing about the upcoming solar eclipse. Malaysia lies just outside the umbra zone (but in penumbra region), thus we were able to witness a partial solar eclipse. I promptly set an alarm in my mobile phone to remind me of this event because I was thinking of photographing it.

Thus today, the alarm went off and I remembered of this important event. I looked at the bright sun painfully but it was hidden under a shade of cloud. I continued looking at it- and, all of a sudden I spotted some imperfection on the circular dish of the sun. It looked like a small dent- which is the moon blocking the outermost edge of the sun.

I ran and took my camera with my polarizer filter (I don’t have an ND filter). I lied down on the floor and pointed the camera to the reflection of my black-tinted and opened window plane- through another tinted glass of the window. So I actually used three layers of filtration- two layers of black-tinted glasses and a polarizer filter.

While taking photos, I kept on thinking about the relative distances between the sun, moon and Earth. We know that the distance of sun from Earth is 1AU (Astronomical Unit) which is about 1.5 million kilometres. The diameter of the sun is about 109 times of Earth. But when we look at the sky, the sun seems so small- in fact, it appears just as large as the moon (thus we have solar eclipse- this kind of system is VERY rare).

I took photos sparingly for over 40 minutes before a thick piece of dark cloud covered the sun completely for a few hours, until the eclipse was over. Sad case, man.

But still, I managed to capture this image of the partial solar eclipse. It’s an amazing experience really. I witnessed the moon covering up the sun in a graceful manner. Such grandiose.

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