Monday, March 10, 2014

The Transits of Venus

The transit of Venus 2012
The 2012 transit of Venus by Michael Umbricht

Ladd Observatory
The June 5, 2012 transit of Venus across the Sun at 6:21:38 PM EDT captured using a modern digital camera through the historic main telescope at Ladd Observatory.

The telescope is a refractor with 12" aperture and 15' focal length. A solar pre-filter was used on the objective of the telescope and the camera used a broadband hydrogen alpha nebular filter to further reduce the brightness due to the sensitivity of the camera. The weather was mostly cloudy during the day and this image was taken during a brief thinning of the clouds which gives the Sun's surface a mottled appearance. 

The photo at left shows Michael Umbricht preparing the telescope and camera before the transit.

The transit of Venus 2004
The 2004 transit of Venus by Bob Horton

Brown University Physics
The weather was more cooperative for the June 8, 2004 transit of Venus.

This image was taken using a hydrogen alpha solar telescope on the roof of the Brown University Physics building. 

The photo at left shows Profs. Greg Tucker and Ian Dell'Antonio preparing for the transit.

The transit of Venus 1769
The 1769 transit of Venus by Benjamin West

Benjamin West
The June 3, 1769 transit of Venus was observed by Benjamin West of Brown University.

The diagram is from his publication titled: An Account of the Observation of Venus Upon the Sun, the Third Day of June 1769.

The watercolor silhouette of West is from the Brown University Portrait Collection, courtesy of the Office of the Curator.

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