Venus, 11 amThe Transit of Venus

Tuesday, 8th June 2004
Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

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8.57 a.m. My first attempt at photographing the transit of Venus. It's been cloudy since 6.20 a.m. when the transit begain. This is the first time this morning that I've had a reasonable view of the sun but it is veiled by cloud: those bands are strands of thin cloud passing over.

11 a.m. At last the veil of higher cloud has melted away and we're getting full sun.

Transit of Venus, 11 am
Venus about noon

12.22.27 p.m. was the time that I judged that Venus had completely cleared the sun's disc. The predicted time given on the Transit of Venus page of the BBC Science and Nature website was 12:23:36.

Venus about noon



Transit projectedThe photographs were was taken with a digital camera, using my Optolyth 30 x 75 telescope set up on a small tripod on my desk to project the image onto a piece of card. In the first photograph the sun's disk isn't quite circular because I had to hold the camera slightly to one side of the eyepiece.

Because I'm using the projection method the image is upside down: the planet was actually passing in front of the southern hemisphere of the sun, moving from right to left.

For the 11 a.m. photograph I improved my projection set-up by shading most of the studio window with a sheet of hardboard, towels and a few sheets of black paper. The sun was higher now so I projected from the desk down onto a piece of card propped on a chair, which gave me more elbow room to lean over with my camera.

As with the first image I've increased the contrast on the computer in Photoshop and I've skewed them to try and get a more circular shape.Next Page


Richard Bell,

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