Astrophoto: Transit of Venus with the Sun (2012)

Below is my first, decent astrophotography experience -- a photograph of the transit of Venus (lower right) with the sun from about 44.99° N, 93.17° W (Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul, MN, USA) at 2012/06/06 00:45 UTC (7:45 p.m. CDT on June 5th, 2012). Barring any comsmological nightmares for the solar system, the next transit of venus with the sun visible from earth will occur on 2117/12/11 02:48 UTC (8:48 p.m. CST on December 11th, 2117), and will only be partially visible on the west coast of the United States (2012 borders). Anyone who saw or photographed the 2012 transit almost certainly witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime event!

Equipment used: A pair of 10x50 Orion brand binoculars, a thick paper plate, a Canon Powershot A620 digital camera, and various brightness/contrast/color/transformation operations in The GIMP (most notably, the color curve editor).

Method: The image of the sun was projected through one objective lens of binoculars (other objective lens covered!) onto a thick, white paper-plate (in a shadow) and photographed with automatic shutter control. The image was then cropped and post-processed in The GIMP. Note that some sun spots are also visible (dim, smudge-like places near the upper-middle).

WARNING: NEVER LOOK INTO THE SUN WITH BINOCULARS! Always project onto a surface instead!

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