Total Solar Eclipse Over Easter Island
Pinhole Projection Images

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The first contact and subsequent partial phases of an eclipse tend to be simply" tolerated" by eclipse watchers as a sometimes painfully slow buildup to totality. Likewise, the post totality phases tend to be completely ignored by many as soon as the main show is over, but the changing sunlight during the partial phases has its own interesting aspects to watch.

One of the interesting effects to watch is the changing shapes of images projected by leaves or other natural objects as the size of the bright part of the sun becomes unnaturally small during an eclipse. Shadows become abnorally sharp, and holes in objects project images of the crescent sun on the ground.

Man-made patterns can show the effect more consistently for photography. An Easter Island themed moai pattern was created for this eclipse by Jean. The mask used is shown at right. It consists of small holes punched into aluminum foil which is supported by a cardboard frame. The large hole at the middle of the bottom of the frame is to allow the the lens of the Olympus pocket camera to support the pinhole frame, making the photography of the pinhole pattern a one-person operation. See the results below:

The video also shows some effects of clouds passing by. These diffuse the sunlight, cancelling the effects of the shrinking size of the sun during the eclipse and cause the projected images to become fuzzy or disappear. The large openings for the eyes of the center moai are the last go and first to reappear, creating a ghostly effect.