The Doctor (dr_nebula) wrote in astro_imaging,
The Doctor

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Venus Transit - 6/5/12

On the 5th of June, much of the world was treated to one of the rarest of all predicted events - a transit of Venus across the disk of the Sun. Visible as an extremely dark, sharp 'dot', this is the silhouette of planet seen against the intensely brilliant disk of our Sun. Though visible throughout the states, only beginning to mid-transit would be visible on the East Coast - more the farther west you went. (The entire event was visible from the Pacific Ocean)

In Northern Georgia, the prospects weren't that good, so our merry band of amateur astronomers and imagers headed north for clearer skies. We met up in a weird little bar and grill (The Pickle Barrel) in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee to eat greasy burgers and deep fried pickles, before heading off to Lookout Mountain.

We couldn't find any good spots in the Nat'l Park, due to either too many trees and/or parking limitations. However, my old astro-buddy got permission to use the home of an elderly widow near the entrance of the park. The view was spectacular - her back patio overlooked the entire western horizon, and over 1500' above the surrounding area.

We had a few pesky clouds, but better than 95% of the event was visible allowing for lots of images of the event. The sunset was glorious - and some of those shots are more impressive than the transit. *g*

So let's check out the SHINY!

Our Group's setup..

The 'Unknown Astronomer"

One view from Lookout Mountain..

The Venus Transit

These images were taken with the setup seen with the 'unknown astronomer'. *g*. A solar filter on the front of a 72mm f/6 ED refractor and my Canon 1000XS hooked up to my laptop. To power the scope and laptop, I used a portable power supply (no sockets visible on the patio).

Shortly After 1st Contact..

(Venus is the notch in the upper left)

Just about 1/2 way through..

Shortly after 2nd contact - the full disk of Venus is visible

I missed the 'second contact' due to a large, slow moving puffy cloud than took about 5 minutes to move across the field of view. By that point, Venus had 'popped' free of the edge.

The sharpest image of the transit

Sunset - on Venus and the Sun

Awesome image, isn't it? I used my trusty old Canon 350D, a 300mm telephoto lens set at f/16, ISO of 100 and some ridiculously short exposure (which I need to look up on the original image.
Tags: imaging, shiny, venus
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Do you know or would you know how to find out how many miles Venus covered during the transit from limb to limb? I should be able to figure that out, I know it's pretty simple trig... but asking is easier.
Easy. Look up the orbital velocity of Venus, find the total time of the transit and multiply.
Well, that's even easier. I guess that's why you're the Doctor!

Works out to 861,660.80 km or 535,411.20 miles over 6.8 hours, from Boston. That's if we could have seen it from Boston.

SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY thank you! I didn't hear about this so I'm glad you got pictures! Also, definitely need to come over as I have inherited an old telescope....
I'd love to see you - pick some dates and we'll go from there.