Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Full disc Venus transit

The Venus transit of June 6th continues to unfold - on my harddisc. I still have lots of unprocessed data to play with and yesterday I did just that. The resulting image is my first of the event featuring a full Solar disc view (full res version HERE).

Venus transit in H-alpha light (Coronado SM60 filter, 70mm ED refractor)
- click for bigger view
The view is a composite of two images made out of 600 frame sequences; one for the solar disc with  2 msec exposure time and another with 27 msec exposure time for the prominences. Acquisition was done at 3:17 UTC when the altitude of the Sun was just 3.8 degrees. When processing the image it was quite evident that the solar disc was flattened significantly by atmospheric refraction. Still the view is not too fuzzy - it helped that I was WAY down at the beach front overlooking the straight between Denmark and Sweden.

Initially, I had set up a bit farther from the water front but as more and more bystanders gathered and flocked around - and in front of - the scopes you could forget about seeing anything. Failing to get anyone's attention to move out of the way I desperately grabbed the entire setup with clock drive running and carried it down to the waterfront. If someone wanted to get in front of my scope here they'd have to get their feet wet. On the picture below you can see me sitting at a table working the computer but the scope I used is completely blocked from view by people! But, hey, lots of bystanders - and not lots of clouds - is something to be happy about!
Imaging at the waterfront - surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd.
Image copyright: Palle Sonne

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