Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Transit of Venus, June 5, 2012

The transit of Venus happens in pairs eight years apart - but then with more than a century between cycles. During the pass, Venus appears as a small, dark round spot moving across the face of the sun, like a bug on a dinner plate. Here in South-West Ontario we were blessed with clear skies and relatively low humidity during the whole transit.
I was able to follow and photograph this astronomical spectacle from start at 6:04 PM until the Sun disappeared behind neighbor’s roof around 8:30 PM. It was well worth the time.

The equipment I used was Canon Rebel T1i, 75-300mm lens with 1.4X extender and arc welding filter plate in a place of dedicated Sun filter. Considering that the filter plate is a mass production piece made out of polycarbonate (Plexiglas) and not an optical quality glass, the photos are quite sharp. This particular filter has a gold coating that reflects the sunlight and keeps the filter cool. Simple setup that did what I wanted.

If you look very carefully you will see 5 Sun spots in 2 groups: at center left are 3 spots on top of each other and second group in center right has 2 spots.