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  • Vermilion Voice

‘Total Solar Eclipse, A Chronicle’

Astrophotographer, Rob Baron, shared a recent collection including the 2017 total solar eclipse at the Vermilion Public Library on October 17.

Baron shared a video and gave demonstrations with a telescope to community members wanting to learn more about the galactic display. He acquired the interest as a child when he received a telescope for Christmas and had always been interested in photography.

“In 2003 I began using larger telescopes to prove to myself that the things seen in magazines do exist,” said Baron.

He described astrophotography as being a challenging form of photography with hours of exposures and image processing. His master’s degree in image processing for remote sensing in agriculture comes in useful, and he continues to challenge himself to get photos that are technically correct and to create images that are visually pleasing.

Baron and his wife, Sandra Sturton, travelled to Alliance, Nebraska to be able to capture the 2017 total solar eclipse on August 21.

“There hasn’t been a total eclipse in North America since 1979, so 2017 was quite an opportunity for people. The next expected one will be visible from the eastern United States in 2024, and in 2044 one is expected in Lethbridge, Alberta,” said Baron who noted that Vermilion would not see one for more than 200 years.

After travelling over 1,500 km, the couple noticed airplanes landing every 90 seconds at an airport that doesn’t usually see two planes in one day, given that the size is similar to Vermilion. According to the couple, a farmer had opened his field to approximately 700 guests, where they were able to camp and take in the two and a half minute eclipse.

“Everyone gasped and cheered as the sun reached the diamond ring phase and was just about to be revealed. If I was ever to do it again, I might spend more time enjoying it and less time taking pictures,” said Baron.

The most magnificent to Sturton who was able to watch the eclipse was the pink sparkly edge that appeared just before the sun moved from behind the shadow of the moon.

According to Baron, the hobby is quiet and solitary but provides him a lot of fun.

“It’s a pretty cool universe. You never run out of things to take pictures of because the universe is ever expanding,” said Baron.

His collection can be viewed at the Vermilion Public Library throughout October, or on his website,

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