The Partial Phase of the Eclipse

A sequence of the partial eclipse is shown in the image below. First Contact is when the moon just starts to cover the sun, the partial phase continues until Second Contact which when the total eclipse starts. The partial phase starts again at Third Contact until the Fourth Contact when the sun is no longer covered at all.

Even though a significant part of the sun may be covered during the partial phase, any darkening is not particularly noticeable until well over 90% of the sun is hidden from view. This is due to the way the human eye naturally adapts to a wide range of different lighting levels and the gradual covering of the sun is slow enough for the eye to adapt without any noticeable change.

NOTE: During the partial phases it is not safe to view the eclipse whatsoever without the use of protective filters.

The images were taken using a 300mm lens using an ND5 BAADER filter. This gives a 10^5 reduction in light intensity, the ND stands for Neutral Density with theoretically should pass all wavelengths of light equally.

The exposure times were 1/125th second at f/16 using 100 ASA film. In other words the use of the filter gives fairly normal exposure settings.

Only the initial partial phase was photographed, the part between First Contact and Second Contact.

Original image As can be seen from the image on the left, the BAADER filter gives solar images that are a purplish hue. This may well look right to a few aging hippies but to most people the sun definitely does not look right in this colour.

The dynamic range of the image was stretched and then converted to a greyscale. The brightness of Red and Green components was increased by %25 to give the image on the right. The images were then scaled to half size and joined into the sequence above.

Click for DETAILS of how the images on this site were created.

Corrected Image
Cheat Image This is what the partial phase between Third Contact and Fourth Contact may have looked like. This image is actually a cheat and is a mirror image of the original sequence :o)