This portrait of the sun partially covered by the moon was taken by Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre through a solar-filtered telescope during the March 29, 2006 total solar eclipse in Egypt. WARNING: Always use a proper solar filter. Never look at the sun with your naked eyes, or through a telescope, binocular or camera viewfinder without a high-quality solar filter. Failure to do so can result in serious eye injury or blindness. The only time it is safe to gaze at the sun directly without any filter is during the brief period of totality, when the moon completely blocks the sun’s disk. Otherwise, you have to use a filter throughout the eclipse.
The diamond ring just before second contact, which marked the start of the nearly four-minute-long totality on March 29, 2006. Imelda and Edwin used an exposure time of 1/800 sec. at ISO 400 for this shot.
A close-up view of the chromosphere layer as well as solar prominences protruding from behind the moon’s disk on March 29, 2006. The exposure time was 1/800 sec. at ISO 400.
Imelda and Edwin used Adobe Photoshop to enhance the contrast and color saturation of the previous photo in order to suppress the overpowering brightness of the inner corona and bring out the chromosphere and prominences.
The sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, on March 29, 2006 was surprisingly full of structure even though the sun then was at its minimum activity. The corona displayed at least six long, beautiful streamers that extended almost symmetrically in opposite directions, like a bow tie or pair of butterfly wings, before tapering off into the deep, velvety-blue sky. Note how the prominent hairlike brushes delicately traced magnetic-field lines above the sun’s polar regions.
Using Adobe Photoshop, Imelda and Edwin digitally combined and enhanced three exposures (1/800 sec., 1/60 sec., and 1/30 sec. at ISO 400) to bring out structural details in the corona. The corona’s long equatorial streamers and fine polar brushes are typical of the sun at minimum activity.
Imelda and Edwin deliberately overexposed the corona to capture details in the moon’s silhouette, which is illuminated faintly by “earthshine,” the light reflected from Earth. On the lunar disk you can make out, among others, the dark shapes of Mare Imbrium, Mare Serenitatis, Mare Tranquillitatis, Mare Vaporum and Mare Nubium as well as the bright craters Tycho, Copernicus and Manilius.
The diamond ring immediately after third contact, which marked the end of totality on March 29, 2006. Imelda and Edwin used an exposure time of 1/800 sec. at ISO 400 for this scene.
Imelda and Edwin created this montage of the March 29, 2006 total solar eclipse from individual photos they obtained from Salloum, Egypt.
Total solar eclipse, March 29, 2006: The allure of seeing a total solar eclipse in a land that worshipped the sun during Pharaonic times was simply too hard to resist. That was why more than 2,000 eclipse chasers from all over the world converged on Salloum, Egypt, which sits high on a plateau near the Libyan border and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. This photo was taken by veteran eclipse chasers Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre.
Total solar eclipse, March 29, 2006: The observing site at Salloum, Egypt, was jam-packed with eclipse chasers and their observing gear. Security was also extremely tight, as black-clad soldiers armed with automatic weapons cordoned off the area where then-Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and other dignitaries had gathered to witness the historic event firsthand. This photo was taken by veteran eclipse chasers Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre.
Total solar eclipse, March 29, 2006: When the moon’s dark shadow swiftly and silently swept over the observing site in Salloum, Egypt, people cheered, whooped and cried; many devout Muslims also said a special prayer to Allah. This photo was taken by veteran eclipse chasers Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre.
Total solar eclipse, March 29, 2006: Veteran eclipse photographers Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre used an imaging setup consisted of a Canon EOS 20D digital SLR camera attached to a Takahashi FS-78 f/8 apochromatic refractor, which was fitted with a Thousand Oaks Optical solar filter and mounted on a Meade LXD75 equatorial mount. Riding next to the telescope was a Sony Digital 8 video camcorder.
Veteran solar eclipse photographers Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre of Massachusetts, holding their "lucky" U.S. and Philippine flags, celebrate the successful total solar eclipse observation of March 29, 2006, with Francis J. Ricciardone Jr., then-U.S. ambassador to Egypt, and his wife, Marie, in Salloum, Egypt. The flags have been with Imelda and Edwin on every eclipse expedition since 1988.
After the successful March 2006 total solar eclipse expedition across Egypt’s Western Desert, veteran eclipse chasers Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre stayed for a few more days in the country to explore its archeological wonders, including the Pyramids and the Great Sphinx at Giza, the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, the colossal granite statue of Rameses the Great at Memphis, and the fabulous treasures of King Tutankhamen and the royal mummies at the Cairo Museum.
During the Nov. 14, 2012, total solar eclipse in Australia and the South Pacific, cruise ships will be positioned off the coast of New Caledonia and New Zealand to intercept the moon’s shadow on the open waters of the South Pacific. Veteran eclipse chasers Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre photographed this view of the fore deck of Holland America’s MS Veendam packed with eclipse chasers during the total solar eclipse on Feb. 26, 1998 in the Caribbean Sea.
Veteran eclipse chasers Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre were all smiles after successfully observing the total solar eclipse on Feb. 26, 1998 aboard the MS Veendam in the Caribbean Sea, between the islands of Aruba and Curacao. Imelda and Edwin were the expedition leaders for the eclipse cruise, and as such, they spent the early morning hours on eclipse day on the bridge with the ship’s captain, his first officer and a guest meteorologist, trying to figure out the best way to dodge clouds and escape high winds that were threatening to spoil the view. The Veendam performed a figure-8 maneuver at sea along the eclipse track’s central line and, fortunately, the gamble worked! The ship’s more than 1,000 passengers enjoyed the 3 1.2-minute-long totality under perfectly clear, blue skies and calm seas.