Venus Transit 6.6.2012

Been a while since the last post ... a couple of drafts are almost ready to publish regarding Dark Frames and couple of DIY posts. I hope I'll get them done sometime soon.

Sunspots and Venus 2012-06-06 07:30:59
First the mandatory warning:

Never, ever look at the sun without proper eye protection.

Anyway June 5.-6. 2012 was a memorable day for most amateur astronomers because of the last transit of Venus for more than a hundred years. At least here in Finland the days prior to the event were spent mostly by getting ready and staring at the weather forecasts ... and biting nails. The forecasts were not encouraging first in the southern parts and then in the northern parts then all that was left to do was, pick a spot and hope for at least a quick peek of the event. I decided to try my luck from my backyard. That meant missing the first half of the transit due to the rather southern latitude and natural obstructions towards the sunrise.

I woke up at 0300 and set everything up for when the sun would clear the obstructions (trees and such) at about 6:15 so I had plenty of time to contemplate the weather (mist, thick low clouds and thin high clouds), was not looking good ... At about 0500 small tears started to appear in the lower clouds. A small spark of hope was flitting its way in to my head. More finger nail biting and waiting. The tears were getting larger by the minute, but the high clouds were still there.

The moment of truth was quickly approaching ... it looked like there was going to be some "clear" moments. I fired some test shots while the sun was still behind the trees. The exposure times varied quite a bit due to the cloud cover.

There was nothing more I could do but fire away at each "clear" moment and try to adjust the exposure times on the fly (which actually worked out quite well). I managed to get 150 shots out of which approximately 50 or so (the processing is not completely done) are somewhat satisfactory. The main problem was the blurring due to the high clouds even during the clearest moments. Anyway here are some shots from the session. The shots are the cropped jpgs with some levels adjustment (the raw photos are still in the works). All times on the photos are local time (GMT +2). These photos were taken with the following setup:
Celestron AstroMaster 130 f/5
Canon EOS 1000D at prime focus
Baader Astrosolar ND 5 filter
full aperture used

Venus_transit_2012-06-06 06:26:23

Venus_transit_2012-06-06 06:43:15

Venus_transit_2012-06-06 07:25:55

Venus_transit_2012-06-06 07:41:40


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