Photograph Total Solar Eclipse with the Megamovie app
May 16, 2019
If you want to photograph the upcoming total solar eclipse on July 2, the Eclipse Megamovie app might be the perfect solution.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The app makes it easy for anyone to take a picture of the solar eclipse and upload it to the project afterward. This project is a collaboration between Google and the University of California, Berkeley.
You can find the Eclipse Megamovie app created by Ideum on Google Play (for Android devices) and AppStore (for iPhones).
We advise to download and install the app ahead of time, so you can look around and understand how its different features work. The app offers a simple tutorial where you will be explained how to point your smartphone at the Sun for the photograph and also what filter to use to protect your phone camera’s sensors. There is also a practice feature that allows you to take photographs of the Sun or the Moon before the eclipse.
When you are at the location, the app will use the GPS to determine where you are and will automatically start taking photos 15 seconds before the total eclipse. Then, the app will continue taking pictures throughout the totality phase (about 2 minutes and 30 seconds long) and 15 seconds after the total eclipse for capturing the “diamond ring.”
After you are done, you will receive a reminder to remove and replace the filter you were using to protect your camera. You can also upload the photographs you took and other data, such as location, later to the project.
It seems that the app is designed to help you focus on enjoying the eclipse while it is taking care of creating memories for you. Moreover, the idea behind it is also to help generate a large amount of data that scientists can use for studying the total eclipse. A lot of data collected by numerous users could potentially prove to be very helpful, even though obtained from smartphones and not professional equipment.
The total solar eclipse will be seen in Argentina on July 2, 2019. The totality will be visible in the provinces Buenos Aires, Cordoba, La Rioja, San Juan, San Luis, and Santa Fe and will take about 2 minutes and 30 seconds depending on location. The cities on the totality path include Rio Cuarto, San Juan, Villa Dolores, Dolores, Lujan, and Merlo. Millions of viewers are expected to gather to watch as the Moon eclipses the Sun. Those outside of the totality path will experience a partial solar eclipse.
Anyone planning to watch the solar eclipse must purchase certified solar eclipse glasses or handheld viewers. For those viewing the eclipse outside of totality path, the glasses should be worn at all times, while people watching the total eclipse can remove the glasses during the totality phase, but should keep them on before and after.
Are you planning to use a camera, telescope, or another optical device for viewing or capturing the solar eclipse? Such devices need to be protected by a special filter. You can purchase the filter separately and mount over the lens, or you can cut the eclipse glasses and tape the filter instead.
The images collected can be used for further research into the corona, the chromosphere, and even the Moon. Before and after totality, bright spots can be seen around the Moon, caused by the Sun’s light seeping through the valleys on the surface of the Moon. As a result, information can be gathered about the size and shape of the Sun, along with the locations of valleys and hills on the Moon.
Scientists also hope to gather more data about the corona and its interaction with the chromosphere at its base. The corona is the haze of ionized plasma seeping out of the Sun, and it can be studied using the telescopes that can block the brightness of the Sun.
However, because the glare hides the chromosphere from the eye, it remains a mystery where the plasma in the corona comes from.
The data from millions of people could reveal information about the interaction between the corona and the chromosphere. Although, because of so many images involved, such studies can span over several years.