10 years ago, we began making the world's best digiscoping adapters in Oregon. To celebrate, last week we studied the weather maps and the projected path of the annular solar eclipse hoping to get in just the right place to digiscope it. Being Oregon in October meant that clouds were certainly a concern.
On Friday, the 13th we drove to Crater Lake National Park and studied the sky while standing in 4 inches of fresh snow. The forecast said we'd have a better chance of clear skies further east so we got back in the truck. 100 miles later We found a hotel room in Lakeview Oregon and studied the topographic maps looking for a likely spot that wouldn't hide the rising sun behind the numerous mountains.
Saturday dawned and we could see a lot of clouds and had to make a quick decision, north? east? south? We decided to head north out of town and found a clear spot off a dirt road where some other "eclipsers" were already setting up. The father son team we met were from San Diego and Anchorage, meeting in Oregon to chase the sun.
They watched with interest as we quickly setup our tripod, attached a solar filter to the end of our spotting scope and focused it on the sun that was just starting to peek out above the hills in the east. We then used a Double Gripper to position an iPhone in front of the eyepiece.
Although the father son team typically journeyed around the world twice every year hunting eclipses, they had never tried to digiscope. Our 60X power scope and large phone screen quickly made them believers and for the next hour we watched, videoed and enjoyed the spectacle as the moon further covered the sun.
As we neared the apex it became apparent that the solar filter coupled with the light cloud cover didn’t allow enough light through. We removed the filter and the image changed from the reddish hue to a brilliant white but we could watch safely on the phone screen. The sun and moon played peek-a-boo through the fast moving clouds and provided a definite Halloween feel.