Skip to main content


Anonymous's picture
Posted in
Standing Committee on Observational Activities
Programme for Solar Eclipse of July 20, 1963

Bulletin No. 2	Basic Observation Programme	February 15, 1963

    In this bulletin we present an outline of the basic observation programme for
the July 20th eclipse. The programme has been divided into three main sections,
as follows:-

    A. PRECISION OBSERVATIONS, which includes all observations requiring precise
       timing and recording, with the use of atopwatebes, short-wave radio,
       meteorological instruments, etc.

    B. PHOTOGRAPHIC PROJECTS, which includes photography of all phases of the
       eclipse, with and without telephoto lens, filters and other accessories.

    C. VISUAL OBSERVATIONS, made with and without optical aid, and including
       sketches and drawings.

    The attached outline will simply give you some idea of the extent of the
programme and the equipment required so that you can make some preliminary pre-
parations. For each of the three main sections, a separate bulletin will shortly
be issued, giving instructions for each project and a standard report font. Sub-
sequent bulletins will discuss other aspects, such as the selection of an observ-
ing site and the organization of a field station.

    In planning the basic programme, we appreciated the helpful advice and encour-
agement received from Malcolm Thomson and J. S. Locke of the Dominion Observatory.
The little booklet prepared by Dr A. Vibert Douglas for the 1932 eclipse contained
many suggestions that are still useful. We have also drawn on the experience of
the Montreal Centre which organized a five-day expedition to observe the 1954
solar eclipse.

    Enthusiasm is certainly mounting. To date we know of four Centres that are
planning field expeditions. Dr Scatliff of the Winnipeg Centre is organizing a
group that will travel by rail to Willbeach, Manitoba, which is on the C.N.R.
line to Churchill. Individual members of the Edmonton Centre have tentative
plans to travel north. Le Centre Francais de Montreal is organizing a field trip
to the Grand'mere region and has already issued a questionnaire to its members.
The Montreal Centre has plans under way for two or more field stations in the
Province of Quebec. In addition, individual members of other Centres - Toronto,
Hamilton, Niagara Falls, Ottawa and Halifax - have expressed their intenticn of
viewing the eclipse from locations In Quebec or Maine.

    We would like to hear about your plans as they develop. Suggestions for the
observation programme are still welcome. We especially want to know about any
special projects you are undertaking.

    Additional copies of this bulletin are available on request.

                                          Isabel K. Williamson
                                          National CoÄordinator 1963 Eclipse
                                          5162 Belmore Avenue
                                          Montreal 29, Que.

                     Standing Committee on Observational Activities
                      Programme for Solar Eclipse of July 20, 1963

Bulletin No 2                 Basic Observation Programme               February 15, 1963

A. PRECISION OBSERVATIONS                                Equipment Required

   1. Duration of Totality                Stopwatch, short-wave radio or reliable clock

   2. Contacts                 )          Stopwatch, short-wave radio or tape recorder,
                               ) - -      telescope with Herschel wedge, etc. or
   3. Occultation of Sun-spots )          projection screen

   4. Flash Spectrum                      Stopwatch, short-wave radio or tape recorder,
                                          telescope with prism or diffraction grating

   5. Shadow Bands                        Compass, white background

   6. Meteorological Data                 Barometer, thermometer, anometer, photometer

   7. Radio Reception                     Short-wave receiver, signal strength meter

B. PHOTOGRAPHIC PROJECTS                              Special Equipment

   Still Photographs (b&w or colour)

   1. Partial Phases, Baily's Beads,etc.  Telephoto lens, dense neutral filters

   2. Totality - (a) Corona - shape  )--  Telephoto lens, tripod or mount with clock
                 (b) Corona - colour )    drive, (a) rotating sector shutter, (b) red
                                          and blue filters
                 (c) Prominences          Single lens reflex, telescope with drive

   3. Shadow Bands                        Compass, tripod, white background

   4. Changes in Landscape Illumination	  Tripod

   5. Spectroscopic: (a) Flash Spectrum   Tripod, prism or diffraction grating
                     (b) Corona           Spectroscope with slit, telescope with drive

   Motion Pictures

   1. Partial Phases                      Dense neutral filters

   2. Totality                            Telephoto lens

   3. Landscape Illumination              No special equipment

   4. Shadow Bands                        Compass, tripod, white background

   5. Onrush of Shadow                    No special equipment, tripod helpful

C. VISUAL OBSERVATIONS                               Equipment Required

   1. Corona                              Unaided eye or telescope

   2. Solar Prominences                   Telescope, preferably with drive

   3. Aurora - presence or absence of     Unaided eye

   4. Stars Visible during Totality       Unaided eye

   5. Effects of Bird & Animal Life       Unaided eye or binoculars
630215 Eclipse2 (PDF)588.47 KB
Bulletin 2: Basic Observation Programme
Other Bulletins