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MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Members of the Middlebury community employed an assortment of techniques to view the solar eclipse on August 21 at the Mittelman Observatory on the roof of McCardell Bicentennial Hall.
There were telescopes outfitted with filters, numerous eclipse glasses, a Sunspotter solar telescope, and a variety of homemade viewers designed to project the sun’s image onto a piece of paper. The festive impromptu gathering had been promoted through the Observatory News email.
As the eclipse developed and the sky darkened, faculty, staff, students, and family members took turns watching safely. Two Admissions tour groups also stopped by to see the eclipse and witness the event.
Middlebury’s telescope specialist Jonathan Kemp hosted the afternoon event, greeting visitors, answering questions, and dashing off every 25 minutes or so to photograph the different phases of the eclipse from inside the Observatory dome.
To obtain a sequence of images, Kemp used a Canon DSLR camera attached to a four-inch Tele Vue NP-101 telescope outfitted with a Hydrogen alpha (H-alpha) filter. His dramatic photographs were an instant hit on the College’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels, and the images appeared in several Vermont news media outlets.