Image Gallery - 2012 Venus Transit

On June 5, 2012, Venus transited the Sun for the second time this century. Venus transits follow a peculiar pattern of pairs separated by about 8 years, with these pairs separated by more than a century. There will be no more transits of Venus visible from Earth until 2117.

Normally, the weather conditions in central Colorado at this time of the year should be ideal for monitoring a transit. However, with global climate change starting to result in noticeable shifts of the regional climate, the monsoonal pattern is occurring earlier each year. In the days preceding the transit, thunderstorms developed by early afternoon. The day of the transit was mostly overcast, and remained that way until late afternoon, after the transit had begun.

In the hope of some clearing, I was prepared with several cameras. My Canon 300D was mounted on my 300mm SCT, with an off-axis white light filter (Baader film). Piggybacked on the scope was a Coronado PST solar telescope (hydrogen alpha) with a B&W video camera attached. Finally, I had a small Maksutov scope on a tripod with a white light filter for visually observing the event.

Cloudy ConditionsAfter first contact, some openings started appearing in the clouds, and I was able to collect some images. Nevertheless, clouds continued to be a problem until the Sun set, during mid-transit.

Transit at UT 22:10
UT 2012.06.05 22:10:09. Single video frame from PST (H-alpha). Venus is seen just entering a little above center at the left.

Transit at UT 22:15
UT 2012.06.05 22:14:26. Imaged with Canon 300D (white light, false color added).
Second Contact
UT 2012.06.05 22:22:05, Second Contact. Single video frame from PST (H-alpha). Venus is now fully silhouetted against the Sun. It remains too cloudy to see any detail on the Sun itself.
Transit at UT 23:08
UT 2012:06.05 23:07:52. Venus is now well interior of the Sun. In this white light image, several sunspot groups are easily visible.
Transit at UT 00:35
UT 2012.06.06 00:35:00. Venus continues across the face of the Sun. In the light of H-alpha, the sunspots themselves are less conspicuous, but the active zones around them shine brightly.
Transit at UT 01:25
UT 2012.06.06 01:25:06. Mid-transit, last image before sunset. At this point, the observatory was starting to block the telescope, creating vignetting at the lower right, and the image was quite turbulent just above the horizon.

© Copyright 2012, Chris L Peterson. All rights reserved.