Photo of the total solar eclipse, Feb 1979
I took this photo using the telescope shown at right.
The telescope is a homemade 4.25" reflector with 59" focal length.
The eyepiece was removed and a 35mm SLR camera body (without lens) was
substituted at the prime focus.
This effectively turned the telescope into a 1500mm telephoto lens.
The above photo was a 1/4-second exposure on Feb 26, 1979, at 1629 UT (9:29 am MST).
Film speed was ASA 64.
During totality no filters were needed.
This was the last total eclipse of the century that would be visible from
the continental United States.
(Funny how the end of the century seemed so far away in 1979.)
The eclipse track passed through Washington, Idaho, Montana and North
Dakota. Being the dead of winter and weather unpredictable, we drove from
California due north to Washington, then eastward along the eclipse track
to find suitable weather. We finally settled for Grassrange, Montana, which
is not much more than a wide spot in the road near the geographic center
of Montana. This is prairie land, with few trees to get in the way and no
mountains to generate clouds.
Heading south on a spur road a couple miles put us smack in the middle of
the oncoming eclipse.