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The 2012 Solar Transit Of Venus

06/06/2012

As everyone may well know, the 2012 Transit of Venus occurred on 5th to the 6th June, with the whole event lasting slightly under seven hours. The transit started around at 23:04 British Summer Time (22:04 UTC) on 5 June through various North American based telescope streams, a little after the sun has set in the UK.

Being based here in Cornwall in the U.K., my attempts at seeing the sun came from two possible sources. My first source was the SLOOH SpaceCamera’s live online feed, URL: [http://events.slooh.com/], which hosted the full transit. This gave me an excellent chance to document and record the main phases of this much anticipated solar transit (please see my observations below). The second was setting my alarm for 04:45 BST and using my newly purchased Lunt 60mm H-Alpha Telescope (9B600 – 2″ Crayford Focuser) with my sketchpad and drawing what I saw, the result can be seen above.

From the SLOOH live feeds I was able to record the various phases of the transit as well as some key parameters of the evenings events. It took, by my estimations, 19 minutes and 42 seconds from the point when Venus first encroached onto the disk of the Sun (‘ingress exterior’) until the planet was fully silhouetted (‘ingress interior’). The planet then took a curved path across the northern hemisphere of the Sun. Mid-transit was recorded to be at 02:32 BST (01:32 UTC) on the 6th June. Venus began to leave the Sun (‘egress interior’) at about 05:37 BST (04:37 UTC), and the transit was (‘egress exterior’) over by 05:57 BST (04:57 UTC).

Further Reading:

  • Espenek, F. (2012) The 2012 Transit Of Venus: [http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/transit12.html]. The Observer’s Handbook 2012, Royal Astronomical Society Of Canada.
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