Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Venus Transit Summary

Nothing but a very big WOW. The Venus transit in Israel was visible on June 6th from sunrise to external egress, a little more than 2 hours. I had to wait until all my US friends saw it and went to sleep. I was very worried about clouds and hardly slept at night. At 5am the skies were cloudy but not very, so I was confident that even if I miss sunrise (because of the clouds) they would disperse later on and it would be OK. I started the observation with the almost full moon in the west.

almost full moon
Almost Full Moon
After that I climbed to the roof of a tall building and saw that the entire east was covered with clouds... Not so good...

Cloudy east
Cloudy East
But two minutes later, an area in the sky became brighter, that was the sun, so I aimed my camera quickly and grabbed this photo. At this point, I couldn't see anything with my eyes or use a filter, but the moment that I saw on the camera screen that there was a big black dot on the sun I was extremely happy. A complete round sun with a dot is nice but a very ordinary photo. The following photo is anything but ordinary. The rising sun in a deep purple color, the clouds below and above the sun, the buildings in front and the buildings through the sun, and of course, Venus - a composition that will not be repeated for another 105 years!

Venus transit at sunrise
Venus transit at sunrise

Here is a close-up of the Sun, the buildings are seen clearly, and it looks like sci-fi...
Venus transit at sunrise
Venus transit at sunrise
A few minutes afterwards and the disc of the sun passed through the first layer of clouds. This photo is still without a filter and it shows Venus, distorted by the heavy Earth atmosphere (the sun is still very low in the sky), and another surprise - one of the several sunspots! The photos of the rising sun were great but I still had to set up my observation.
Venus transit at sunrise
Venus transit at sunrise
For me, astronomy is not just a hobby but a passion I like to share with others. I set up a public observation in my town, and after seeing the sunrise I quickly went to the place where I planned the observation and setup the telescope. People started to come at around 6am. They looked at the sun through the telescope and through the eclipse's sunglasses, received information and explanations about what they saw and took photos through the telescope or through my filters.

Venus transit observation at Givat Shmuel Israel
Venus transit observation at Givat Shmuel Israel
 After that I photographed ordinary photos of the whole sun through a solar filter. Many sunspots are visible as well.
Venus Transit
Venus Transit

The event slowly came to an end. The next photo shows the internal egress, when Venus touches the limb of the sun from the inside. For another 20 minutes or so Venus exited the sun completely becoming a morning star.
Venus transit internal egress
Venus transit internal egress
The observation took about 2 hours, and about 100 people, young and old, male and female took part in it. It was great fun and a rare experience and I am very happy I took a part in it.

To finish, here is a short video of the sun rising.


6 comments:

  1. Nice! I missed it but I saw the eclipse. Thanks for posting this so I could see it as well! Nice vid and pics :) Must have been a real blast!!

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  2. thankyou for letting us llive this experiance and see it aswell..

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  3. Great job. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. The Heavens declare the glory of God, as David said in the Psalms, we really appreciate your posting of this dramatic event!

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  5. Tom, very nice. I saw it by myself but it must have been exciting to share the event with 100 other people. Keep up the good work.

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