Williams College Astronomer Captures Solar Eclipse Images from Australia

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., July 13, 2018— Jay Pasachoff, professor of astronomy at Williams College and Chair of the International Astronomical Union’s Working Group on Solar Eclipses, observed the second solar eclipse of the year from the grounds of the Mt. Pleasant Radio Observatory of the University of Tasmania in Australia. It was the 68th solar eclipse that he had observed.

Pasachoff reports that the partial eclipse lasted 64 minutes and that weather conditions were ideal, with clear skies virtually the entire duration of the eclipse. Even when clouds appeared in the final minutes of the eclipse, the sun was always visible.

Photo by Jay Pasachoff

According to Pasachoff, this solar eclipse was visible only from Antarctica and southernmost parts of Australia, especially Tasmania, where 10 percent of the solar disk was covered at maximum.

Pasachoff captured images of the eclipse using a Nikon D600 and 500-mm f/8 Nikkor lens and a Thousand Oaks Optical filter as well as with a Nikon D7100 and 400 mm Nikkor lens with a Questar filter.

There are two more partial solar eclipses—August 11, 2018, and January 6, 2019—before the next total solar eclipse, which Pasachoff will observe from Chile on July 2, 2019, now less than a year away.

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Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.

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