Rcjp's Weblog

June 8, 2004

Transit of Venus

Filed under: physics — rcjp @ 8:31 pm

Crabtree

In a very peculiar coincidence, a few months ago I was talking to a neighbour about a little lane that runs off from the road a hundred yards or so up the hill from where I live, and they mentioned there was a blue plaque to commemorate an astronomer at the bottom. Intrigued, I went and had a look and sure enough there it was on a garden wall.

Looking up one the net for information I could not believe that there was shortly going to be another transit, the first for over a hundred years. So I had to take the day off work and try and record the event in honour of William.

When I was a teenager I had borrowed a small telescope and was lucky enough to have the right positioning to project the sun onto the back white wall of my bedroom. With thick curtains darkening the room and pegged together around the scope tube I achieved an image of the sun several feet across and, apart from some shimmering as the hot air rose up the walls of the house, this gave some great views of sunspots.

VenusTransit1

VenusTransit2

The weather was blazing sunshine and with my Meade ETX, some cardboard a sheet of white paper and a certain amount of swearing my contraption held steady enough for a few pictures.

VenusTransit3

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