Astrophotography by Philipp Salzgeber




Wolfurt / Austria

Venus Transit 8.6.2004

On 8th June 2004 something happened no living person ever saw, a transit of the planet Venus in front of the sun. Due to the tilt of the orbits of Venus and Earth this happens not everytime Venus overtakes Earth in it´s Orbit nearer to the Sun, but only if Earth and Venus are on the so-called nodes of Venus´orbit. The last time it happened was 122 years ago...

We, the Vorarlberger Amateur Astronomen set up on the Bödele a pass near the city of Dornbirn in Vorarlberg/Austria. We were very happy to have a clear blue sky for the whole event. With 7 telescopes we were able to give interested visitors a chance to view the event close-up and also had some great views for ourselves. I made some pictures of the transit, and our transit party, which you can see here:

All white-light transit images were made using my Vixen R-130S telescope on a Super Polaris mount using a Nikon Coolpix 4500 camera and a Vixen LV 12mm eyepiece in a Vixen Digital Camera Adapter.

Click on the thumbnails to see a higher resolution version...

This is a GIF-animation it shows the so-called 2nd contact, where the disc of venus becomes fully visible in front of the sun. After the last transit many observers reported the "black-drop" phenomen, it seems that this was mostly related to bad seeing and bad optical quality of the 19th century telescopes.
No black drop
Here are four individual frames from the time of 2nd contact. Close inspections reveal no black-drop effect
Venus atmosphere visible!

While watching the ingress of the planet´s disc across the Sun´s edge through Robert Seebergers 10" LX200 Meade telescope, I noticed a faint arc silhouetting the dark limb of Venus. The backlighted atmosphere was visible! Even through the ND5 Astrosolar solar filter, which let´s only about 1/10000 ot light pass through. I intentionally overexposed the images above, to make the arc (faintly) visible.

Alois Ortner had his brand new SolarMax90 filter on a Takahashi FS-102 refractor. Views of the black silhouette of Venus before the deep-red sun with filaments and active corona were breathtaking. The Baader/Zeiss binoviewer with Panoptic eyepieces gave the image a 3d like effect. I wrapped a black cloth around my head to shut out the direct sunlight, seeing nothing else than the glowing ball of hydrogen suspended in blackness was a remarkable experience. The longer I looked the more detail could be seen. Outstanding!! My image does no justice to this great setup!
Cameraphone images
Just for fun I took some images with my Samsung V200 cameraphone. I just held the tiny lens against the eyepiece and snapped away... while the image quality is kind of strange with funny vignetting effects visible, it was fun to send the image off to a colleague at work immediately!
Images of our observing session


All images © Philipp Salzgeber

home - astro - moon

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.