Venus Transit of the Sun on June 5, 2012

Venus Transit of the Sun, June 5, 2012 - Airplanes & RocketsEven though thousands of astronomers, both professional and amateur, would be photographing the transit of Venus across the face of the sun, I was determined to try to get a photo of my own. Since I do not have a solar filter for my Celestron NexStar 8SE telescope, I figured the next best thing would be to get a piece of #14 welder's glass and attach it to the front of a digital camera. The welder's glass worked as advertised, but unfortunately its 1/8" thickness caused unavoidable internal reflections that under magnification (about 20x) resulted in a double image of the sun and Venus. The sun was only only in an unobstructed range for about an hour before moving behind a tree, but I was glad for any opportunity. Out of about 30 exposures, only one was good enough to present here.

This wide-field image is included as a reference to show how looking through the welder's glass with the naked eye looked like. Besides, the clouds in the area made it look really cool.

Venus Transit Through #14 Welder's Glass - Airplanes & Rockets

The video below is an excellent production from NASA and shows a time lapse of the transit as viewed through a variety of filters, including hydrogen alpha, I saw some of the action yesterday on the NASA website as it was broadcast live from 14,000 feet up on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

"Over a six-hour period on June 5-6 2012, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) collected images in many wavelengths of one of the rarest predictable solar events: the transit of Venus across the face of the sun. These transits occur in pairs eight years apart that are separated from each other by 105 or 121 years. The last transit was in 2004 and the next will not happen until 2117. "



Posted June 6, 2012