"Historic Transits of Venus"
2004 & 2012

June 8, 2004

I was lucky enough to have good weather and mostly clear skies for both historic transits of Venus that occurred during my lifetime.  It could have easily been the other way and I would have missed both so I consider myself fortunate.  Below are my images from both 2004 and 2012 events.   The 2004 event was so brief that I don't have many usable images to tell the story.  I had better equipment and more time for the 2012 event and so have a few more images to share.   To some people it is just a black dot on the sun but when you think about what you are seeing really puts it all in perspective.

On this day I witnessed  Venus as it completed its transit across the face of the sun. In the days leading up to this I had all but written this event off because of several factors including:

Lack of a clear eastern horizon at my home
Constant threats of low clouds or haze on the horizon
Timing. It it was a very short event from sunrise to the end from my location
Filtering.  It is hard to get solar filters to work good for the sun that low on the horizon.  I learned from the June 10, 2002 partial solar eclipse that with the sun so low on the horizon that there is a time when the sun is too dim for solar filtering and yet too bright for unfiltered observing.

Well, I managed to solve most  of these problems. To solve the problem of my eastern horizon I traveled  to our local cemetary (one that had been hit by an F2 tornado on May 24 with hundreds of headstones being knocked over...but fixed now)and photographed from there.  There were some clouds but the sun shone through making the images more picturesque in my opinion than if they were not present. I arrived with plenty of time to spare and didn't miss anything. Venus was still completely on the face of the sun when I first picked it up. As far as filtering is concerned I shot the first 10 minutes or so through a TeleVue Pronto Telescope unfiltered allowing some foreground trees to be included and then finished up with a Baader Solar Filter which really dimmed the sun causing me to use upwards around 1/8 second and 1/15 second exposures. It was a neat sight.

Instrument: TeleVue Pronto (32mm Plossl Eyepiece + 2X Barlow) BAADER SOLAR FILTER
Camera: Nikon CoolPix 995

June 5, 2012 Event

My observing location in the backyard in Albany, Missouri
Televue Pronto on the left and Sky Watcher 6" f/8 on the right.
Photograph by Norma Bush

2nd Contact: June 5, 2012

Venus well into the transit.  Sky Watcher telescope

A wide angle view of the transit.
TeleVue Pronto Telescope


The setting sun with Venus at about mid-transit.  No filter used.  Shot from south of Albany.


Rainbow at Elam Bend

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Dan Bush
Albany, Missouri

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E-mail: dan at missouri skies dot org

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