@rqfugate - Background stars observed during total eclipse
I hesitate to post this in light of the incredible photos by Druckmuller, but it is nevertheless a pretty interesting shot of the eclipse and surrounding star field. This is a blend of 13 shots separated by 1 stop each. In order to bring out the slight differences between tone levels, I resorted to calibrating all of the light frames by subtracting master bias and dark frames (averaged for the same exposure time), then dividing by a master flat for the f/8, the aperture used in the 13 shots. The HDR composition was assembled in PixInsight using HDRComposition and the detail was extracted using non-linear stretch routines MaskedStrech and MultistageMedianTransform (a wavelet based routine that separates the image into layers based on spatial scale). After all that, done in a 64bit computational space, I had to make an 8 bit JPEG for IG (creating some posterization) and did adjust the highlights to enhance the stars so some of the innermost corona is slightly blown.
There are over 20 stars detected in the original file, (the faintest being HD 87391, magnitude 9.47). The relative positions of the stars with respect to the center of the sun is a test of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. He predicted that the gravitational field from a massive body like the sun warps space-time and that rays of light passing near the sun would be deflected toward the sun as they pass. So the test is to measure the relative positions of the stars during a total eclipse (when you can see them) and compare their apparent positions measured six months later (when you can see them at night and the sun is no longer nearby). This was first done by the astronomer Arthur Eddington on May 29, 1919 using glass photographic plates and a telescope, and the results agreed with Einstein’s prediction. It would be hard to repeat this experiment with this and subsequent images to be made at night since the plate scale of 2.4 arc sec per pixel and low SNR are marginal to see the less than one arcsec change at these star positions. At some point I will post pictures on my website and make them available for download.