Solar Eclipse with Airplane

Photographer Phillip Calais who toke this impressive solar eclipse photo, said: It was just eight minutes after sunrise, last week, and already there were four things in front of the Sun. The largest and most notable was Earth’s Moon, obscuring a big chunk of the Sun’s lower limb as it moved across the solar disk, as viewed from Fremantle, Australia.    Image ©  Phillip Calais.     Used with permission.

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This was expected as the image was taken during a partial solar eclipse — an eclipse that left sunlight streaming around all sides of the Moon from some locations. Next, a band of clouds divided the Sun horizontally while showing interesting internal structure vertically. The third intervening body might be considered to be the Earth’s atmosphere, as it dimmed the Sun from its higher altitude brightness while density fluctuations caused the Sun’s edges to appear to shimmer. Although closest to the photographer, the least expected solar occulter was an airplane.

Aditional info from photographer:

The photo was taken from Monument Hill in Fremantle, Western Australia.  It’s not much of a hill – maybe 10 metres higher than the surrounding area.

The street view is from the western side of the war memorial and I was hiding in the lee of the east side of the monument as it was quite windy.

But it’s got a good view of the eastern horizon, so I thought it would be good place to see the eclipse.  Also it’s only 10 minutes from my work in Fremantle!



From Fremantle and Perth, the eclipse started well before sunrise and the maximum eclipse was also before sunrise.  I arrived at the park at about 06:45 and sunrise was at 06:53.

While I had other equipment, this photo was taken with a Canon 40D with Canon 400 mm f5.6 lens and a 2x teleconverter.  The photo was taken at 07:05 and the sun was only about 1.4 degrees above the horizon.

Getting the aircraft in was purely a chance shot, nothing more.  Perth Airport is about 25 km East-North-East from Fremantle, so the plane was probably just taking off and maybe only 500 – 1000 feet or so above the ground at the time.  I suppose I could work it out exactly…

source APOD