The Transit of Venus

08 June 2004

All images Copyright 2004 Clay Ruth - All rights reserved.

 

I took these photos from the front porch of my home in northwest Indiana by hand-aiming a Sony digital camcorder at the eyepiece of a 200 mm aperture f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope equipped with a 40 mm wide-aperture eyepiece and an aluminized Mylar solar filter.

Foreground branches frame the silhouette of Venus on the rising Sun's disk

  

As the time of third contact approaches, only a sliver of sunlight appears between the silhouetted planet and the Sun's limb. The enlarged view at right shows the beginning of an optical phenomenon known as the "teardrop effect," in which the Sun's limb appears to draw inward toward the silhouette, making such transits very difficult to time accurately.

  

At third contact, the teardrop effect becomes quite prominent, as can be seen clearly in the enlargement at right.

  

As the planet leaves our line of sight to the Sun, it becomes just a tiny indentation in the limb.

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