Venus Transits the Sun!
8th June 2004
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Courtesy: Sky & Telescope

Yesterday, the Transit of Venus across the Sun's disc was witnessed for the first time by people alive today..

It didn't disappoint, with some nice clear skies for me to get setup outside with my binoculars, a piece of white card, some eclipse shades and my digital camera.

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My setup for observing the transit

I didn't have a proper solar filter to put over my binoculars, so the safest method for me was the projection method, pointing the binoculars at the sun and holding a white card behind the eyepiece at a nice focused distance.

The whole event started at about 15:10pm, and the sun was down too low in the west by about 16:30pm.. Stupid neigbours houses and 6ft fence meant I couldn't see it any longer than that.

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Eclipse shades held over the camera lens

Using the eclipse shades alone, it was quite easy to see the black disc moving across the orange sun, once it had gone past second contact especially. Unfortunately the camera doesn't show what my naked eye saw, thanks to poor equipment :)

Anyway the next one is in 8 years time, and after that, not until 2117. For the next one, I'll definitely have my telescope and a nice solar filter.

Anyway here's some photos I took of the projected image. Some are a bit out of focus but you get the general idea :)

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Just after first contact

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Second contact

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Blackdrop effect

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20 mins after second contact
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