Venus transit 6th june 2012

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I am privileged to have been able to observe the Transit of Venus the 6th of June 2012. This transit was the second of the pair - the first one having occurred in 2004. The next pair of transits will take place after 105 years. This make it something more than once in a life time event and along with the solar eclipse which I observed from my home island of Kastellorizo the 29th of March 2006 will most probably be the two most important observations I will ever make as an amateur astronomer.

The Transit of Venus was considered in the previous centuries as one of the most significant moments of astronomy. Scientists from all over the world were hoping to calculate the astronomical unit by measuring the time of the passage of the shadow of Venus from the disk of the sun. Expeditions were organized by all major countries across the world to obtain accurate measurements. Alas, most of them failed as the instruments of the era were inaccurate. The most unfortunate expedition was the one organized by the French astronomer Guillaume Le Gentil . His misfortunes were such that inspired Maureen Hunter to write a play which was subsequently made to an opera by Victor Davies.

My observations were made from Anavra, a mountain village of  Phthiotis, a region at the central part of Greece. Along with me were my colleagues from Hellenic Amateur Astronomy Association - S.E.A.

The instrument I used was a Skywatcher Black Diamond Apo Refractor 120/900 mounted on a SW HEQ5 PRO mount. I attached on the visual back a Lunt Herschel Wedge 1.25”, a Baader ND 3.0, a Baader Solar Continuum and a Baader UV/IR Cut filter.

The images were taken with a DMK 21AU04.AS black and white CCD camera barlowed at 2X with a TeleVue barlow lens.

The whole setup was controlled through my MacBook Air using various programs. The process of the .avi files was made using Registax 6.0 and Photoshop CS5.0

Just before sunrise

First photo. This one is un barlowed to capture the adjacent sunspots

Close to the limp. At this point I should have been observing the black drop effect, but neither I, nor any of the other observers saw this peculiarity. On the other hand the ring produced by the atmosphere of  Venus was clearly recorded.

Third Contact

Exit Phases

SEA Observators  Team 1   At Anavra

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