Transition of Venus, June 8th 2004

On June 8th, 2004 the planet Venus passes between the sun and the earth. With the aid of a telescope or a camera with a telelens this phenomenon can be observed, provided the sun light is filtered using a solar filter. The planet can thus be seen as a dark spot against the bright solar disc.

From the back-yard of my house in Woerden, the Netherlands, I took four pictures of the event, using my digital camera Fujifilm S602 Zoom. That camera has an optic zoom range corresponding to a traditional camera of 35 to 210 mm. In front of the camera lens a cylinder had been placed with a solar filter, constructed from an eclipse shade (type ND-5, blocking about 99.999% of the sunlight).

The automatic focusing was inoperative, whereas focusing manually turned out to be very awkward, the digital image being so small. This is noticeable from the quality of the exposures. Yet the result, taking the shape of an animation, looks nice, I think. The animation has been composed of four exposures, taken at the respective times 9:44, 12:01, 12:49 en 12:58. De final exposure was taken just before the transition ended.

The exposures have been aligned as accurately as possible, by measuring the pixel locations. Note that due to the position of my camera ever being horizontal, the solar disc appears to rotate between the exposures, in particular between the first and second exposure. No correction has been made for this effect. Therefore the moving of Venus appears less than it actually is.

Click the thumbnail below to see the gif animation.

Gif animation 110 kB

Last updated April 14th 2007
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