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Tourists swarming the NH North Country like a horde of locusts, mud and snow at our usual accommodations, barely recovering here at home from an unexpected Spring blizzard. And committments on Sunday, Monday evening and Tuesday.

Drive 6+ hours to watch the eclipse?  Erm, no.   Plenty of people did, and I do envy them - ever so slightly, though, cause we had a .... Blasty day ;)

We decided a 15 mile trip to a friendly pub worked better for us .....

The Blasty Bough is a friendly pub/brewery/music venue in Epsom NH. 

They normally arent open on Monday afternoons, but they had an Eclipse Day.  It turned out to be Pint Day and they had these lovely glasses filled with a new release.

Perfect. Good brew and souvenir glasses, supporting a local pub   :)  

So, we made some new friends, chatting over a pint , then wandered outside to watch the show. 

I did not really want to use the eclipse glasses, and honestly looking at the eclipse didnt seem like a big deal to me.

We were "only" in a 95% zone, so totality wasnt a question. But ....  as an engineer how could I not want to make my own pinhole camera viewer ?  

You can find plenty of instructions on the web , so I wont go into details, other than to just say one of these viewers is just a box, with a pinhole in one end and a viewing hole somewhere; the image of the eclipse is projected thru the pinhole onto the opposite end, and viewed thru the .... viewing hole.

How to make the box .... hmmm, I had some old roadside candidate signs laying around ( handy craft material !).  It took a bit of wrestling to cut, bend and duct tape them together but - perseverance is all.   Then I put a piece of board inside and screwed a tripod mount into that. Finished the end with aluminum foil and a pinhole, and a piece of whit foam board for the 'screen' and voila .....

Then I decided to try a second one, this time marrying two soda water boxes.  Duct tape everywhere. This camera had a little longer body, so the image it displayed was a little bigger. Cool :)

So, I set the sign camera up on my tripod and with a little twiddling I had a display of the beginning of the eclipse - one that didnt require my holding it. That let me take pictures.

An unexpected bonus - since it didnt require aiming or holding, other watchers could come and take a look with minimal hassle. Fun for all !  That was actually a high point for me :)

When the eclipse peak arrived, it did indeed get colder and darker.  And a light breeze picked up.  But we were not in the totality zone. It actually didnt get as dark as I expected. I mean 95%  ....  

So I took a few pictures, glanced twice thru the glasses at the eclipse , yes it was nice, and more impressive than the pinhole images.  Cool.

But the real high point for me came today, after the eclipse.   Permit me to geek out a little :)

I took one picture at the peak time, of the snow in the field:    1/60 shutter, f8, ISO 100

Then today ( 4/9/24) I took a picture of a similar snow target under bright sun.  I set the shutter to get a similarly dark looking picture to yesterday's:

This gave me a 1/2000 shutter, f8, ISO 100.  Each halving of shutter speed also halves the amount of light received by the camera sensor. 

So 1/120, 1/240. 1/480, 1/960, 1/2000 (approx)  5 halvings or 1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2 = 1/32.    The shutter speed in bright sunlight had to be set to allow only 3% of the light in order to be as dark as the peak picture .....  in other words, my measurement is that the peak eclipse here stopped 97% of the suns light  !  

Given the different targets for the exposures and my subjective comparison of the darkness, this is closer than I had hoped to the undoubtedly more accurate official 95%   :) 

I hope everyone who was able to get out for a viewing had a good time !

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