of Venus: 2004
Well...it finally happened! After an almost 122 year wait Venus eventually passed across the face of the Sun on the 8th June 2004 in what must be one of the most eagerly awaited astronomical events of all time. The western hemisphere was particularly favoured with all locations in the UK positioned to see the complete transit.
As was the case with the total solar eclipse in 1999 and the Leonid meteor storm in 1999 I did not want the Scottish weather to dictate visibility of this incredibly rare event, so I (along with a few other members of AFA) travelled to Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, where cloud-free skies were guaranteed. And so it transpired...and I perspired under the baking Egyptian sun! It was truly fascinating to see the black circular dot of Venus slowly move onto, and then across, the sun's photosphere in an event lasting almost 6 hours.
From Egypt the transit started around 8:21am and finished around 2:20pm. Temperature in the shade was mid to high 30's C.
|This is me on transit morning getting ready to set up. A big thank you to Martin Russell for the picture.|
|Taken at 8:39am just after second contact using a lens combination of effective focal length 1400mm and f/22 with an OD 5.0 solar filter fitted to the front; 1/60s exposure onto 400ASA film.|
|Mid transit with palm trees added to give an Egyptian "feel" to the event.|
|Mid transit without the trees!!|
|Observers enjoying the spectacle from the roof of the hotel.|
|A well thought out and very effective projection method. Here's a close-up.|
|A simple, readily transportable and very effective projection method employed here. Here's a close-up.|
|With just 10 minutes left only half of Venus remains against the Sun's disk.|