Transit of Venus - June 5, 2012

Venus in transit across the Sun - June 5, 2012

Sunset on June 5, 2012

The sunset on June 5, 2012, was a little unusual, because the setting Sun had a big black dot on it as it disappeared below the horizon. The transit of Venus on June 5, 2012, was still in progress when the Sun set behind the mountains of Arizona.

In 2004, I was able to watch the entire 2004 transit of Venus, from beginning to end, from the vantage point of my location on Mauritius Island in the Indian Ocean. The 2012 transit of Venus would have been a good excuse to take a trip to Hawaii, because the entire transit was visible from locations in the Pacific Ocean. However, I photographed the 2012 event from my home in Scottsdale, Arizona, because I did not want to risk shipping my large telescopes to a distant remote location, and I did not want to use something larger than a 3-inch refractor. Given that one airline lost one of my equipment cases on my way to a solar eclipse, and on another trip, Alaska Airlines destroyed one of my tripods and refused to pay for it, staying at home for the 2012 transit of Venus seemed like a good idea. We had perfect weather in Arizona on the day of the transit. I was able to do a polar alignment of two telescope mounts the night before, so the telescopes tracked the Sun perfectly all day long during the transit of Venus, and I did not have to waste any time readjusting the pointing of the telescopes.

This image was taken with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel SLR camera on a Takahashi FCT-150 refractor using a Thousand Oaks Optical Type 2+ solar filter, all carried on a Takahashi NJP Temma mount. Although the Sun had an orange color when viewed through the Type 2+ solar filter, at sunset, the color of the Sun changed to red and the image looked like it was taken using a hydrogen-alpha filter. This image was taken from my backyard in Scottsdale, Arizona.

This image was published on the website for Fox 10 News in Phoenix, Arizona. This image was also published on the Sky & Telescope website.

The Sun & Venus
June 5, 2012
Image by Sid Leach
Scottsdale, Arizona

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