Venus Transit, 5 June 2012

  Yesterday evening I went for a walk in the Toftrees game land (State College, Pennsylvania), with some hopes of photographing the transit of Venus across the sun. The sky was partially overcast with definite cloud shapes of all sorts. That was good! I knew my photos wouldn't work with the sun in a clear blue sky; that would be way too bright.

So I walked along and waited until there were no shadows. Sure enough, the sun was popping in and out of the various clouds, and at times I had a naked eye view of the sun as a disk. Great! I took around a hundred photos, and the following are all part of an early selection. (Of course, looking directly at the sun at anytime is risky; it can blind a person.)

The first two photos are overviews of sun (with Venus) and clouds, beginning with a centered sun view.

Overall view of Venus transit, centered sun.
  And an off-center sun view.
Overall view of Venus transit, off-center sun
  In the detailed photo (although still reduced to a third of actual size), not only is Venus clearly visible but also a number of sunspots.
Venus transit - with sunspots
  I fooled around with a built-in yellow filter.
Venus transit, yellow filter
  As well as a built-in red filter.
Venus transit, red filter
  All in all, a very good photographic experience, with a handheld camera.

Camera note: I used a Pentax K20D, with the SMC 1000mm reflex lens, on 5 June 2012 for these photos of the Venus transit. Good lens for such snapshots!

8 Nov. 2003 lunar eclipse || Sunspot 930 (2006)

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