University Lowbrow Astronomers

Astronomy Pictures from the University Lowbrow Astronomers: The 2004 Transit of Venus

The 2004 Transit of Venus
by Doug Scobel

On rare occasions, Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun. During the twenty-first century, it will happen twice, once in the year 2004, and once in the year 2012. Such events are called Venus Transits.

Doug Scobel wrote:

I arrived at Lyon Township Community Park in New Hudson, around 5:15 am, about 45 minutes prior to sunrise. The lot was probably three fourths full already. I knew that this was the “official” transit viewing site for the Ford club (FAAC), so I was expecting a crowd, and that’s pretty much what we had.

I decided to set up at the the south end of the parking area, so that I could flag down any Lowbrows that might arrive after I had. I was joined not five minutes later by Doug Nelle and his daughter Mira, and then by my neighbor Steve Szuminski, his wife Mary, and their three daughters. I was surprised to see that a number of observers made a family outing of the event, considering the hour of the day. Once things got under way, Steve and Mary’s girls were a lot of fun to watch, they were so enthusiastic. They’d go between scope, binoculars, back to the scope, over and over. They seemed to have a lot of fun, plus they learned something (I hope). Doug had his nice homemade 5” f/5 refractor, some binoculars, and his camera.

The pictures of the sun are with my 8” f/8 Mars (Venus?) scope, which is really 7” f/9 with the Baader solar filter attached. Nikon Coolpix 800 digital camera hand held up to an old 32mm A. Jaegers symmetrical eyepiece. Some of the splotches and artifacts are due to dirt on the eyepiece (things were happening so fast I neglected to clean it).

These photographs were taken by Doug during the last Venus Transit (the morning of June 8, 2004).

Venus Transit #1

Venus Transit #2

Venus Transit #3

Venus Transit #4

Venus Transit #5

Related Venus Transit 2004 Links


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