Gracias, Vicuña!

Totality Tuesday has come and gone. In short, it could not have been better. Since then, Team Totality has been involved in a whirlwind of travel and organization. Now we’re back in Santiago awaiting our flight home, so I finally have some time to process a couple of images and share them before arriving at home on Friday!

The conditions for the eclipse were absolutely perfect. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and Team Totality had plenty of time to set up gear, work through some minor (yet scary!) technical issues, enjoy some wine, and scream our asses off during totality. In short, it was beyond expectations!

My favorite part of an eclipse is the view of totality through binoculars. The corona sizzles with rays of light while the dark disk of the moon masks the super bright photosphere of the sun. It is amazing! The image of the corona that I’ve included here is the best interpretation I have, but it doesn’t come close to the real time view through binoculars. By the way, the Spanish word “corona” means “crown.” A very apt name. I hope you enjoy my image of the “crown.” Sorry it doesn’t come close to the reality!!

No sooner did the eclipse end when the dark Chilean night skies began to take center stage. We were at the Mamalluca Observatory outside Vicuña, so it was a perfect location for both the eclipse AND night sky photography. I took full advantage of the situation by switching from eclipse photography with my telescope to wide field photography of the Milky Way. I used my motorized telescope drive, so I was able to capture multiple images of the core of the Milky Way with long shutter speeds. I’ve included a preliminary version of the Milky Way here, but it will be better when I have more time to process it. Still, even at this preliminary stage, I’m pretty happy with it.

Enjoy the images, and happy Independence Day to everyone in the USA!

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