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Transit of Venus

Posted: 5 June 2012

I opened the observatory at 1404 MST, 106°F. The sky was clear but a strong breeze was blowing. At 1415 MST, took my first look at the sun for the day in the Meade 8" LX200-ACF with the Orion full-aperture solar filter. Several small sunspots were visible. I then mounted the D7000 DSLR at prime focus of the 8" and did a test exposure. All was ready in the observatory for the Transit of Venus.

I then set up the Meade ETX-90RA with a Coronado White Light Solar Filter and the Coronado PST on a photographic tripod:


Just before the transit started, I listened to the "Transit of Venus" march, composed by John Phillip Sousa to celebrate the 1882 transit. For more information, including the audio recording, see this Library of Congress web page.

At 1500 MST, I began taking a series of images every minute with the D7000 on the 8" telescope, 1/800sec, ISO 500. This is one of the images, taken shortly after 1st contact:


As with all the D7000 8" telescope images, north is at the top and east is on the left.

At 1524 MST, I captured this (highly cropped) image showing 2nd contact, 1/800sec, ISO 500:


At 1525 MST, I captured this image, 1/800sec, ISO 500:


Every few minutes during the transit, my wife would take a look through the ETX and PST. Several times during the transit, I briefly left the observatory to view the transit through the ETX-90RA (48X) and in H-Alpha through the PST (32X and 27X). Both provided awesome views. In the PST, several prominences and filaments were visible. At 1745 MST, some neighbors came by to view the transit.

I took this image through the 8", 1/500sec, ISO 500, at 1815 MST, just prior to the sun going behind a tree from the observatory and just before mid-transit:


After I took my final 8" image at 1830 MST, I got to take my first look at the transit through the 8" at 77X and 206X. Wow, nice view even through the sun was low in the sky.

I then relocated to the ETX-90RA since it had a clear view of the western horizon. I mounted the D7000 DSLR at prime focus of the ETX-90RA and begin imaging.

Closed the observatory at 1850 MST, 86°F. Did the rest of my observing and imaging from the front patio.

This was taken at 1915 MST with the D7000 DSLR at prime focus of the ETX-90RA, 1/250sec, ISO 800:


North is on the left and east is at the top for the ETX images.

My last Transit of Venus image was taken at 1930 MST, as the sun set, 1/200sec, ISO 6400:


A tremendous Transit of Venus!

Using the images taking with the D7000 on the 8" telescope, I prepared this video. The frames are every 1 minute until shortly after 2nd contact, then they are every 15 minutes through just past mid-transit. Click the image to view the video.


If you are using Firefox and can not view the video above, click here to see the full video.

Comments are welcome; use the Comments section below, or you can Email Me. Thanks.

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Copyright ©2012 Michael L. Weasner /