June 8th, 2004


Transit of Venus

I've spent the morning at work intermittently zooming downstairs to try to take pictures of the Transit of Venus, using my ancient Canon and a 500mm mirror lens with a bit of silver mylar plastic attached over the lens. Conditions are pretty good, but I won't know how good the results are until the pictures are developed. Since the piece of mylar is not exactly pristine (for some reason none of the seven shops I tried last night had silver mylar sheet in stock, so I had to use a pice cut from an old model hot air balloon), and I can't use a tripod because I don't want to cook the camera or damage the meter by pointing it at the sun for more than a few seconds, I'm not incredibly confident. But I'm using fairly fast exposures and might get lucky. Missed the first couple of hours due to buildings in the way etc., but I've been trying to take pictures every 45 minutes or so since I got to work. If any are good I'll put them on line.

Meanwhile there's a very good Norwegian webcam of the transit.


Later: Took the last pictures at 12.00 and got them round to Snappy Snaps ASAP, got them back at the end of lunch. Looks like I got some reasonable results - can't upload them until I get home, I've forgotten the FTP password for my web site, but they'll be up by five or so, I hope.
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marcus 2013

Transit Photos

Here are my best pictures of today's transit of Venus. Quality isn't as good as I'd like due to the factors mentioned in my previous post, but they are just about clear enough to show the dot of Venus against the disk of the sun. Despite most of these having been taken at 1/1000th of a second they are still overexposed, annoyingly I didn't think to use the camera's 1/2000th setting. I've cropped them but otherwise haven't tampered with colour, contrast, etc.

Sorry to be so late posting these, problems came up just as I was leaving work and I had to stay late.