Pictures of the Venus solar transit of 8 June 2004

Pierre van Baal -- Leiden -- The Netherlands

Observed from Leiden with a 7.5 cm Newton telescope on horizontal mounting, projecting on a screen.
Pictures taken with an Olympus C-220 Zoom digital camera (2.0 Megapixels).

Weather conditions: Sunny, only very slight hase, some airplane trails and cloudless sky (except for 2-3 very small ones moving through), seeing moderate (5 on a scale of 1 to 10). Started observations 9h50m (7h50m UT). Around 12h it started to be a bit more windy. There was a very small sunspot close to the center of the disk, but the contrast is too small to be seen. Third contact (Venus touching the edge of the sun; egress starting) was hard to observe due to some winds affecting stability of the telescope mounting, estimated to have started before 13h05m. Fourth contact (end of Venus transit) was more easily observed and estimated to take place at 13h23m00s (dent in the solar rim disappearing). The slight brightening in the last few pictures (towards the bottom-right edge of the solar disk) is due to reflections from the screen (its orientation with respect to the camera was changing during the observations).

I took a total of 22 pictures, 10 of which were combined in a movie (.mov, QuickTime). (The path of Venus across the solar disc is curved due to the horizontal mounting; picture boundary has been each time adjusted to be parallel to the projection screen boundaries as seen in the picture above.) The times at which the pictures (each shown for 1 sec) were taken are: 9h57m20s, 10h31m03s, 10h52m45s, 11h33m30s, 12h30m15s, 12h57m50s, 13h08m10s, 13h09m40s, 13h17m15s and 13h19m15s. Times (-2h for UT) should be accurate to 5s. Below a sample of some of these pictures.







More information about the Venus Transit can be found here.