December is, from the point of weather, a very bad month in South Africa.
The Slovak expedition organized by Vojtech Rušin had an enormous luck. They took
21 images in unstable and cloudy weather and only one image was significantly
influenced by clouds. Images presented on this page were newly processed in 2004 and
they differ from images presented on my Web pages in 2003. Three significant
improvements were done. New phase correlation method of image alignment was applied.
Edge reconstruction method enabled correct corona display up to the Moon's edge.
Highly improved Corona software (version 3.0) was used for final processing.
Friedhelm Dorst was not lucky in choosing the observing place. Only a few hundred meters
from his observing place he could have experienced a cloudless totality more or less just
around the sun. The beginning of totality on his observing place was influenced by homogeneous
but rather transparent clouds, the end suffered from only thin clouds. Several ones of the images taken
with digital camera and rather long focal length (1315 mm) showed fine details but only in very narrow
band around the Sun in the most inner part of corona. Fortunately the more distant parts were
with good quality recorded on images presented above. That is why I tried to compose both series of images
in order to achieve maximum possible image quality in large part of solar corona. The task was not
easy because the images were taken from different positions to totality belt center line. Therefore
the nearest neighborhood of the Moon's edge was possible to reconstruct only from one image set (taken by
Friedhelm Dorst). Another problem was that only very narrow part of corona was correctly exposed
on both sets of images and it made the calibration of images rather complicated. In the end I managed
all problems successfully and the results can be seen on the following images.
Note: If any page needs more than 100 KB to be downloaded, there exists its lower quality version appointed for slow connection.
Page last update: 19.3.2007