The Martinos Center Views the Eclipse as Only It Can

The Martinos Center Views the Eclipse as Only It Can

Members of the Martinos Center community, along with family and friends, gathered on the waterfront yesterday to view the solar eclipse.

This wasn’t just any viewing party. In the days leading up to the event, Maria Angela Franceschini and other members of the Martinos Center Optics Division devised a range of different means to experience the eclipse, adding to the already festive mood of the occasion. These included the following.

Binoculars Projector. The researchers mounted a pair of binoculars on a tripod, covered one of the lenses and positioned the other so it projected an image of the sun onto a sheet of white paper on the ground. They added a black screen to this lens to shield the light around it.

MGH and Martinos Center Pinhole Logos. Using the same principle as the pinhole camera, the researchers projected the MGH and Martinos Center logos onto the same sheet of paper. They achieved this by covering pieces of cardboard with aluminum foil and punching holes in them in the shape of the logos.

Pinhole Umbrella. The researchers found an old broken umbrella and made holes in it with a soldering iron. During the eclipse, this cast half-moon (half-sun) shapes on whoever was holding the umbrella.

Assorted Other Viewing Devices. The researchers called a number of welding supply stores in Boston to track down welding glass (shade 12 for safe eclipse viewing). They then incorporated this into pieces of old Halloween costumes – an astronaut helmet and a Minecraft “creeper” head – as well as other devices.

Telescopes and Cameras. Solar eclipse foil enabled the researchers and others to directly view and snap photos of the eclipse. You will find several beautiful examples of the photos in the slideshow above. We’ve also included a pair of stunning shots from Center Director Bruce Rosen, who viewed the eclipse from a vantage point in South Carolina.