America´s Total Solar Eclipse – Useful Info

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Melissa and I will be observing the solar eclipse from Corvallis. Thanks to the Corvallis Sheriff’s department we found a new location to camp, avoiding to relocate on the day of the event, allowing us also to avoid traffic and early morning stress! Big thanks goes to all my friends that helped out.

While browsing through Youtube, I stumbled on a video by the College of Arts, Letters and Sciences in regards to observing the solar eclipse. Very useful info and insight on how solar eclipse works in general.
View more useful links down at the bottom on how to photograph or record the eclipse event at different stages during its progression as well as last minute camping and reservation info.

 

Niklas Henricson

US Prepaid – No contract SIM cards for your European cell phone

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Cell Phone BillDue to solar eclipse event this summer and for those of you who decide to visit US, make sure you look into prepaid – no service SIM cards when you arrive. Unfortunately there’s no guarantee your european cell phone plan will be as cheap as it’s at your home. I’ve experienced personally issues when I was visiting my wife several times in the past. US phone network providers like to charge a little bit extra, causing issues once you get back home to discover a 400 – 700 USD bill at your doorstep.

I will refer to an article from Trip Advisor that explains what your options are,

United States: Mobile Phone Service for visiting the US

And also, The best prepaid and no contract plans in the US (February 2017)

Finally don’t forget to check that your phone is “unlocked”, meaning that it’s not bound to a specific SIM card provider and also what network coverage each US provider offers, depending which place you plan to visit during your vacations. For example here’s the LTE coverage for T-mobile: T-Mobile LTE coverage map

 

 

Niklas Henricson

Testing Baader Solar Filter

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Day #2 – Testing the Baader filter I recently bought from Amazon. I like orange-red color better than the Mylar filter that gives white color. Sunspot 2665 can be clearly seen on the surface.

This is an interview about the American solar eclipse from St. Louis

Niklas Henricson

2017 American Solar Eclipse – Preparing and testing for live stream

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It’s settled now. We’ve booked ourselves for Oregon and will be camping the weekend prior the American Solar Eclipse. We’ll be meeting up my old astronomy friends from Tycho Brahe Astronomy Society in Lund, Sweden as well!

Long time I’ve been wishing to share live stream with a fairly good quality on several of the events I’ve been attending, sharing my experiences to friends who are either unable to attend, or due to time differences are unable to watch. So on the 21st of August, I’m going to stream live here and on my Facebook profile. It will be set to public so anyone who wishes can watch.

I’ll do my best to answer on comments while the live streaming is going on. If I miss any question please keep repeating it until my eyes catch it.

Live Streaming Facebook

The stuff I’ve got now recently are, cell phone adapter for live streaming purposes that will be attached to one of my telescopes, Solar Finder and lots of souvenir paper glasses with sun filter aimed for solar eclipses.

 

Niklas Henricson

Redding & Shasta Astronomy Club

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Henricson family visiting Redding
Henricson family visiting Redding

For months I’ve been waiting for my astronomy gear to arrive from Sweden. I packed everything last summer in 2016 and didn’t get to access my telescopes until January this year. Last weekend we decided to visit our family member who lives in Redding which is a small town near Shasta lake divided by the Sacramento river. He lives in a beautiful place close to nature so we didn’t hesitate for a second to load the trunk with my astronomy gear. It takes around 3 hours to travel from Sacramento to Redding, which is fairly far away from the town to spend time with family.

Saturday evening we went to Whiskeytown Lake and met members from Shasta’s Astronomy Club. A nice bunch of people who took their time to introduce themselves and tell us stories on how often they gather around every week to observe the beauty of the night sky in that area. I was impressed by their telescopes and knowledge and was happy to be among other fellow astronomy enthusiasts, exchanging knowledge about the night sky.

We had a good time with the kids and got to observe Jupiter with its moons, Leo’s triplet and the moon. We will definitely be visiting Redding again, maybe without the kids so we can stay much longer!

Below is the world’s largest sun dial at Turtle Bay Exploration Park

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Thank you Shasta astronomy friends!

Total Solar Eclipse in US 2017

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Partial Solar Eclipse, foto: Niklas Henricson
Partial Solar Eclipse, foto: Niklas Henricson

So begin planning 2017 for one of the rarest life events witnessing a total solar eclipse. Solar eclipses aren’t that rare but are truly hard to access all the times. Consider for a moment that 3 of 4 parts on the earth’s surface is covered by water, leaving only 1/4 for us to wander about.

Now consider also that not every surface on land is accessible. Either for geopolitical reasons (raging wars, corrupted regimes, etc.), but also for natural reasons such as thick impenetrable forests, high rocky mountains, wildlife, deserts, and so forth.

Considering even that not all human beings are able to travel or can afford long trips but also add on top of that the event might occur on a weird corner of a country where flight prices would cost your entire annual income (I have friends who actually took a military plane down to south pole and landed on ice for some years ago).

On top of that we need to consider the weather with unpredictable forecasts and clouds.

So summing all that up, it truly makes solar eclipses one of its kind and a life event for many of us!

The total solar eclipse will happen in August 21st of 2017. The time-and-date and the national eclipse websites include many details (see at the bottom of this blog post for links), offering also a list of places on where to actually observe the totality of the eclipse. Since this event will happen from west to east, I believe that many fellow Americans and also Europeans who are able to travel, experience this!

As the time comes closer, I’m going to provide much more detailed information, distinguish partial with total solar eclipses and their differences, write about safety precautions on how to safely observe and also talk more about the historical importance of solar eclipses throughout the human history.

  • The National Eclipse website (A lot of information and a web shop for eclipse glasses)
  • For more information click right here.
  • NASA page for solar eclipse click here.
  • Interactive Google Map with lots of information by Xavier M. Jubier here.

Niklas Henricson

Supermoon 2016

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So it was time to head out of the apartment and head for my spot to take a nice shot of the supermoon. I sneaked out as quietly as I could and try to avoid waking up my wife and our baby sleeping still heavily. I left around 4:30 AM and started driving towards the TRACON area (TRACON is responsible for air traffic control for the whole West of US). Once I arrived I turned in their parking lot, but a security guard approached me letting me know I wasn’t allowed to park there but they were kind enough to advice me to park across the street. I thanked them and also asked them if they knew about the supermoon showing up this morning and their response was “Yeah! We’ve been watching it all night”. I left shortly after our short conversation looking at the security guards gazing high up in the night sky all in awe about the brightens of this beautiful full moon.

I couldn’t center the statue I had in mind (a statue of army pilots pointing towards the sky. I thought it would have been awesome to put the moon at their finger tips but that plan and angle didn’t work all too well because of the tree line in the way) and so I changed quickly plans and had the Californian state flag and US flag poles centered in the middle. Fortunately from that angle the trees weren’t in my way.

And here we go, supermoon in all its glory

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For you who have missed this event, there’s one more chance the 13th of December. I’ll be back about it and might make a new try again for my perfect shot.