South Pole Partial Solar Eclipse 11-25-11

When I was in elementary school, my dad found a broken welding mask in our alley and, after carefully removing the glass, taped it neatly into a crisp cardboard box, covering the chipped corner. He brought it to my class one day when we were due to have a solar eclipse, and the whole class got to look at the sun, one at a time, thanks to my dad. I felt famous.

Yesterday we experienced an eclipse here at Pole, with about 75% coverage, and I carried on the tradition.

The sun started to peek out just a few hours before the eclipse was to begin after a full day of icy haze. Excited, I went to the B2 Science Lab and a scientist from South Pole Telescope helped me attach a piece of welding glass to my telephoto lens to take pictures of the sun directly. You should have seen my bag; I looked like a one-woman band getting ready for a performance. A welding mask, blank CDs, hand warmers, aluminized mylar squares, a cup of coffee and a sieve borrowed from the kitchen. We went out to the ceremonial pole, cameras in hand.

The sieve was really neat. A scientist had volunteered to make pinhole cameras in the galley before the eclipse, and the sieve was like a hundred pinhole cameras put together. See how all the pinholes are crescent shaped?