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Solargraphs Capturing 2017

A new round of solargraph cans are capturing light at multiple sites, including Prairie Vista Elementary School, Rocco's Style Shop, St. Pius X Catholic Church, and Copshaholm. Three other sites--Building 84, Four Winds Field, and St. Patrick's County Park--also launched in the new year.

Prairie Vista Elementary School

Students in the fourth grade have Round 2 underway. The first volley of cans was launched in October 2016 (Solargraphs Capture School Vistas). Though we had mixed results with the solargraph images, the students proposed several ideas to test with a new round of solargraph cans. I placed a couple of my own solargraph cans on the premises, and the classes were going to mount several more.

Rocco's Style Shop

Rocco's Style Shop on Ironwood Road is where I've been getting my hair cut for years. Pat the proprietor and his barbershop colleagues have been kind enough to hear me babble about astronomy happenings for as long as my hair has been graying. Recently when I spoke of solargraphs underway in the community, Pat joined the initiative.

Pat pulled the tape off one pinhole to start the exposure of an outdoor can facing somewhat easterly. The image won't have the typical symmetrical wave of a south-facing can, which is part of the experiment. In a second experiment Pat will be placing a solargraph can indoors, up against a big glass pane, to see how well a solargraph comes out when it's been mounted indoors. Ahhh, gotta love science at the barbershop. Thanks, Pat.

St. Pius X Catholic Church

Round 2 is also underway on a rooftop at St. Pius Catholic Church in Granger, IN. Two students Ruthie and Layne first made several solargraph cans, then mounted vertical cans overlooking different directions. At this site, too, a volley of cans launched in 2016 (Solargraph Sites for Players and Prayers), had gotten mixed results. The girls were eager to press on, so we are trying it anew. There's one can closer to ground level, too.


A solargraph can on the flagpole at the Joseph D. Oliver House, dubbed Copshaholm, yielded one of the best solargraph results in 2016. A fresh solargraph is underway there now, as employee Tony pulled the tape to start the exposure. A second can is mounted low on the post of the floodlight that illuminates the front of the house. A similarly low location at Bendix Woods County Park did yield a nice final image, but piling snow was almost at the height of the can. So far 2017 has been a mild winter, so I'm hopeful that Round 2 at Copshaholm will fare well.


I'm trying other things at other places. Fortunately, we pulled the tape before a long spell of cloudy weather befell the region in late January and early February. I'm expecting an obvious gap with the inaugural sunny day defined by the sun arcing across the sky, an anomaly on the lower part of the solar path. Here, Janet gets the solargraphs underway near the December solstice.

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