Corona from the airplane

The resulting image on this page proves that even in the age of spacecraft observations the idea of airborne eclipse photography is not dead. The conditions in altitude over 10 km are very near to the conditions in space, the movements of the airplane during exposures does not seem to be a critical problem and therefore the only limiting factor is the optical quality of the airplane's window. The high quantity of images (51 in this particular case) enabled to overcome even this limiting factor. The image composed of 51 images has a very low amount of additive noise and it makes possible to compensate the loss of contrast on high spatial frequencies caused by scratched thick window.
Click on the following reference to display the same image in the maximum quality (672 KB, PNG format).

Date23. 11. 2003
Time2nd contact: 22:42:43 UT
3rd contact: 22:45:18 UT
PlaceQANTAS Flight 2901 over Antarctica (B 747 - 400)
Coordinate2nd contact: 69° 49' 24'' S, 93° 09' 45'' E
3rd contact: 70° 08' 32'' S, 92° 50' 52'' E
ConditionsImages taken through the exit-door window (camera on tripod)
Optics5.6/35-350 mm set to 350 m
CameraCanon EOS D60 digital camera (images in JPEG format)
Exposure1× 1/1250 s, 3× 1/1000 s, 2× 1/800 s, 3× 1/640 s, 6× 1/400 s, 3× 1/250 s 3× 1/200 s, 6× 1/125 s, 6× 1/80 s, 3× 1/30 s, 4× 1/20 s, 5× 1/15 s, 6× 1/5 s
ProcessingComposition of 51 images. Images were aligned by means of phase correlation, composed in one image using a special program written only for this particular purpose and finally processed by means of Corona 3.0 and ACC 6.0 software.
Image processing by Miloslav Druckmüller
SoftwarePhaseCorr 3.0, JPEG Composer 1.0, Corona 3.0, Sofo ACC 6.0
OrientationThe image is presented in the orientation as it was visible from the aircraft. The image must be rotated 174.5° anticlockwise to achieve the standard orientation i.e. North top, East left
Copyright© 2003 David Finlay, © 2005 Miloslav Druckmüller


Miloslav Druckmüller
Institute of Mathematics, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic
Page last update: 19.3.2007