Posted on Aug 22, 2017 in News
On August 21, Lawrence and the University of Kansas campus were in the path of a rare solar eclipse. Estimates indicated that 99.3% of the sun would be blocked by the moon; however, cloudy conditions in Lawrence obstructed the view of the eclipse for most residents. We reached out to Jayhawks around the country to see how they celebrated the eclipse. Here are a few of their stories and photos. Enjoy!
Larry Stoppel, c’73
Optometrist, Drs. Stoppel & Brown, Optometrists, and Flint Hills Network volunteer
Larry Stoppel and his wife Nancy, d’73, headed to northeastern Washington County and waited at the Evangelical Lutheran St. John’s Cemetery for the solar eclipse. The cemetery is in Lanham, a community that sits on the state line between Kansas and Nebraska.
“The temperature dropped and it was very dark,” according to Nancy. “Looking at the sun when it was in totality was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Words can not describe it.”
Larry added that “the solar eclipse was AWESOME, but hard to photograph. I like this short video time lapse that runs from 10 minutes before, during totality and 10 minutes after.”
Watch Larry’s time-lapse video below:
Ramy Rahman, b’09
Security Engineer, Optiv Security, and Orange County Network leader
The week before the eclipse I was swamped with work and didn’t have very much time to plan, but I hopped on Amazon to find the most inexpensive solar filter possible for my camera. I found a 4×4 solar filter sheet, cut it to the diameter of my 70-300 mm telephoto lens, and affixed a UV filter so it would stay on during shooting.
The day of the eclipse I had quite a few conference calls to run, emails to answer and work, work, work but I wasn’t going to let that prevent me from capturing the eclipse. Around 9:05 a.m. (PT) I went outside to set up my Canon 6D camera and check out where the sun was going to be.
Initially we had some cloud coverage in Costa Mesa, but it eventually cleared and I was able to focus on the sun within a matter of minutes. I have a custom firmware installed that allows me to automate shooting with the built-in intervalometer which shot a 1/100th of a second exposure every 10 seconds with an f5.6 aperture and ISO set to 100.
I left the camera shooting right outside my office window and between work emails and calls, I went outside to reposition the camera to account for the movement of the sun out of frame. Eventually, around 11:49, I had captured about 856 shots of the entire event. Every shot was pretty clear considering we had no cloud coverage in SoCal that day—shocker, I know.
During my lunch break I downloaded the shots and began to post on Facebook. Here is the beginning of eclipse:
Then I went back to work and as the day was winding down, I discovered I had enough shots to do a progression. I took shots from 10-minute intervals of the event and compiled this:
Mitchell Wall Architecture & Design in St. Louis was the location of a little-known KU alumni eclipse watch party. With over half my staff being graduates, pretty much every day is.
My wife, Megan (Lowdermilk) Wall, d’97, joined us about 11:15 a.m. and I got to work setting up my late father’s telescope. After much fiddling, focusing, adjusting, and focusing again, I managed to get the telescope focused on the sun (with a filter of course) and my camera attached to it.
By noon, everyone in the office was coming in and out in a constant parade. I don’t think any work got done for about 90 minutes.
But soon the moon started taking a sizable bite out of the sun, and we all stood together outside looking up at the sky. I haven’t seen this many Jayhawks looking at an orange ball since Mario’s Miracle. And when the sky got dark, and the birds stopped chirping and the crickets started, we all exclaimed at the same time. Seeing the green and gold and red and purple shooting from the sun as totality was reached was a site to behold. It was truly an amazing experience.
Photos shot with a Canon 6D using a Celestron C5 telescope as a lens.