Near Space Photography records British solar eclipse

On Friday morning Near Space Photography launched a weather balloon to record the passage of the solar eclipse. The flight was done in part for the National Space Centre and the events they were involved in at Leicester race course.

The flight was launched from Breidon Hill / Moelygolfa near Welshpool and set off in almost clear skies. The flight carried 4 Go Pro Hero cameras. Two of the cameras were shooting video and the other two stills; one of which was covered with a solar filter. All of the cameras worked well, though the cameras without solar filters did not capture the true majesty of the eclipse.

Camera 1, a Go Pro Hero 4 was shooting video in 1080 at 50 fps and through a narrow field of view.

Camera 1

Camera 1

Camera 2, a Go Pro Hero 3+ Black was shooting still pictures at 5 second intervals through a medium field of view and through a solar viewer solar filter. Due to the motion of the camera and exposure time, the sun appears streaked but the eclipse is visible.

One of 4 frames which captures the Sun while the payload is stable

One of 4 frames which captures the Sun while the payload is stable




A more typical image collected. Over the image exposure the sun moves causing the sun to streak.



Camera 3 was a Go Pro Hero 3+ Black recording video at 1080 at 30fps. The camera performed well for 35 minutes then shut down. A faulty memory card was thought to be the cause of the early shut down.

ao still

Camera 3

Even though the sun was in eclipse, the sun was still strong enough to dazzle the camera and hide the outline of the moon. The overall lighting was reduced and the images were similar to those previously taken at dawn.

Camera 4 was a Go Pro Hero 3 White taking stills at 5 second intervals. Early on in the flight, when about half of the sun was covered, the images collected emphasise the ‘twilight’ lighting conditions.


Camera 4

The cameras were recovered near Abergavenny in South Wales later in the morning.


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