2012 Venus Transit of the Sun

On June 5th 2012 the planet Venus passed over the face of the Sun for the last time this century. With a forecast for 60% cloud cover in my area I was not very hopeful of being able to witness the transit but at the last moment the clouds parted and I was lucky to be able to capture a few slices of this historic event.

5:07 PM CDT

About 2 minutes after initial exterior contact Venus is clearly visible taking a small nibble out of the Sun.

click on images for larger versions

5:10 PM CDT

Venus appears to be about halfway through ingress.

5:23 PM CDT

Just after interior contact.

5:35 PM CDT

About 30 minutes into the transit things are going well but the clouds are starting to roll in at my location.

6:52 PM CDT

A heavy layer of clouds moved off and I was able to shoot the Sun for a few minutes before it was lost in a cloudy haze near the horizon.

Equipment and Setup

For transit day 2012 I was unable to use my observatory since the walls prevent me from pointing the telescope below about 30 degrees. Instead I setup my "travel" mount in the back yard, a Celestron CGEM carrying the TEC-140 with white light filter for visually observing the transit and the Coronado SolarMax II 60 for Hydrogen-alpha filtered imaging. The camera I used was the Imaging Source 41AU02.AS video camera. For capturing the image sequences I used my old IBM laptop and a custom "solar cover" to shade the monitor and prevent the black computer case from over heating.

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