Archive for the ‘Transit of Venus 2004’ Category

Venus video online

Tuesday, June 29th, 2004

My edited video of my dad’s Transit of Venus footage is now online. You’ll need a high-speed connection and/or a lot of patience to download it; it’s 10.4 MB. It has some good shots, though… including a bird and a rabbit. :) The movie is 2 minutes, 21 seconds long. Click here to download it!

Previous still images from my dad’s video here. More transit coverage here.

Venus, Unfiltered

Friday, June 25th, 2004

I just finished watching my dad’s Transit of Venus video footage. He got some very good shots! The best part is, thanks to the thin clouds that at times covered the Sun during the morning of the transit in Connecticut, he was able to capture some excellent unfiltered images of the Sun that clearly show Venus:


Again: more to come. (Eventually, I hope to post some video highlights. I’ll be working on that during the weekend on iMovie.)

Transit of Venus: First Newington image

Friday, June 25th, 2004

My camcorder arrived via UPS today, and with it my dad’s videos of the Transit of Venus from earlier this month. I haven’t watched all the footage yet, but already I’ve seen some good shots, including this image where Venus is clearly visible near the Sun’s right limb, even as some wispy clouds pass overhead:

More to come.

Blur New York, Venus Edition

Wednesday, June 9th, 2004

Here, at last, is a gallery of my mom’s photos from her transit-watching expedition yesterday morning. Alas, due to exposure and focus problems with the camera, the only image in which Venus is actually visible is this blurry photo of a TV monitor at the Hayden Planetarium in Central Park:

I always suspected it would be difficult to get good transit photos with the Fuji Finepix; all along I had more hope for the camcorder, which has a much more powerful zoom. (Those images are still forthcoming.) So I’m not too disappointed. And these photos, even though they don’t show the main event too well, nevertheless give you a good sense of my mom’s transit-morning experience, and they supplement her excellent audio wrap-up and her text-based report well.

So, thanks, Mom! Er, that is, thanks, New York City Venus Transit Correspondent Leanna Loomer! :)

P.S. The title of this post is an inside reference to an art-photography show that my mom put on a while back, called “Blur New York.”

Transit webcast screenshots

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

I’ve just posted a gallery of 11 screenshots from the Exploratorium’s transit webcast, which is how I watched the beginning of the transit live last night. Here’s a shot of “second contact”:

Check ’em all out!

Incidentally, my mom’s transit photos from New York are on their way. She is e-mailing them over as we speak. I will try to post them later tonight; if not, then tomorrow morning.

This could have been me

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

I feel that I made the right decision in not traveling to Chicago on a one-day, $200+ trip to watch this morning’s transit. But when I see these photos of the picture-perfect transit viewing at a hill near the Adler Planetarium — the very spot where I would have been had I decided to go — it’s hard not to feel a little wistful:

Oh, well. As they say in Chicago, maybe next year. Or rather, in this case, maybe eight years from now. :)

Michael Sussman, who took the photos above, has more great Chicago transit photos here.

If only it were a cicada!

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

Right concept, wrong insect:

Oh, well. Here are some more neat Venus transit photos, via Yahoo News:

And here’s another cool double transit by Venus and an airplane!

P.S. For those of you who are sick of Venus, fear not, I will attempt to post an update on the day’s other big story — events surrounding the death of Ronald Reagan — before I leave work this afternoon.

P.S. For those of you who are sick of both the Goddess and the Gipper, sorry, I got nothin’. :) Well, except the pornstar story.

Transit team coverage: Now worldwide!

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

USC solar expert and European Venus Transit Correspondent Werner Däppen (hehe) sends along this link to some great photos from near where he wanted the transit, in Leiden, the Netherlands. (He adds that he is greatly enjoying the workshop he is attending over there, on “Equation-of-State and Phase-Transition Issues in Models of Ordinary Astrophysical Matter.” Puh. Kids’ stuff. :)

New York City Venus Transit Correspondent Leanna Loomer elaborates on her audio reports (1, 2) thusly:

i sent the first post from the [washington heights apartment] after stopping [to watch the sunrise and post-sunrise] at the cloisters, the new leaf [café] overlook, and the overlook terrace overlook. it was hard to leave that one because the sun wasn’t far from clearing the cloud cover, but it only took me TEN MINUTES to get downtown, and i was at the hayden [planetarium] by 6:30 a.m., just as the crowd was being let in. one woman was turned away because she had her dog with her on a leash (robbie: “booooo!”) but there were probably between 200 and 300 people who were there. one had a homemade viewer made out of two long triangular fedex boxes, and there were other things.

Mom took a number of pictures at all of her viewing locations — which were, for those who couldn’t keep track, three spots in Washington Heights overlooking the Bronx, plus Central Park — and some or all those photos will be posted sometime tonight.

My dad, for his part (audio report here), watched the transit from our front yard, our street, and my old elementary school, which is just down the street from our house (and which has a lower horizon). He took a lot of video, including “tree leaves, the odd shot of a bird, and a rabbit.” Luckily, he also took some shots of the actual transit. :) “Cloudy but still got some decent footage,” he reports. “Could see Venus clearly through zoom lens, when cloud breaks permitted.” Those images will be here in maybe a week or so. (Unlike my mom, whose photos are digital, my dad actually has to send me the videotape through snail mail.)

Awesome Venus images

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

The database here at work is refreshing some documents right now, which gives me time to post this very, very cool image of the “halo effect” — the Venutian atmosphere, lit up by refracted sunlight, visible as a thin orange line during the planet’s exit (or egress) from the solar disk:

Neat, huh? You can find more cool pics from The Institute for Solar Physics in Stockholm, Sweden, here.

Then there’s this shot of Venus against the solar corona, from the SOHO spacecraft (which is roughly one million miles away from Earth, and thus did not get a direct transit):

Incidentally, don’t miss my mom’s audio-post below, in which she reports: “This morning at 6:45, I saw the transit of Venus at the Hayden Planetarium on their terrace, along with two to three hundred other people. … We looked with our eclipse glasses, and I saw the transit nearly complete… [with Venus] close to the edge [of the Sun]. And it was a remarkable experience.”

Mom (er, that is, Special Venus Transit Correspondent Leanna Loomer) goes on to wish me an equally remarkable transit experience “15 years hence” — which I appreciate, although her math is slightly off; the next transit in 8 years. But that’s all right. :) Thanks for the report, Mom! (And Dad, too!)

Okay, the database is done doing its thing, so back to work now.

audio post powered by audblog

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004 Special Venus Transit Correspondent Leanna Loomer reports live from New York City:

audio post powered by audblog

Double transit

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

I don’t know if anybody captured an image of the unprecedented double transit by Venus and the International Space Station, but Jacques-André Regnier captured this neat image, from Etréchy, France, of another sort of double transit — by Venus and an airplane:

Then there’s this lovely photo by “dimbu” in Rolla, Missouri, an unfiltered shot of the sunrise transit:

The photographer reports:

In Rolla, the transit had already begun and was nearing 3rd contact before the sun started rising. Since the sun was fairly low, we were able to see the sun directly and could actually see Venus with the naked eye on the disc of the sun. The picture was taken by holding up the camera to a binocular while holding the binocular by hand!!! The wind made it quite a balancing act, but the result was worth it!

Both of these images come from the transit photo gallery, which will be growing, I’m sure, throughout the day today.

UPDATE: Here’s a similarly awesome image from Perdido Bay, Alabama, by Ray Hayes, via

Nothing to see here

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

The Sun, seen through a pane of #12 welder’s glass, 2 hours 7 minutes after the transit ended and 1 hour 16 minutes after sunrise in Mesa, AZ:

Nope… definitely no Venus there. :)

Scroll down, though, for’s transit team coverage from the more favorable viewing locations of Newington, CT and New York, NY, as well as from webcasts around the globe.

P.S. Speaking of which, D.C.-area Correspondent Dane Lindberg reports: “Unfortunately efforts here in DC failed. It was a very cloudy, overcast morning, with fog where I was, and given that my planned method for viewing the transit was using a pair of binoculars to project the image… viewing the transit was not meant to be. As a result, no Cicada transit pictures to provide. However, I do plan on trying to catch the rerun in eight years.” Oh, well. Thanks for trying, Dane. :)

I look forward to seeing my parents’ pictures (still awaiting word from Central Park from my mom) and videos. Also, Andrew has promised some photos of Reagan tributes later on.

Exit stage right

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

The transit of Venus is over.

There will be a re-run in eight years. :)

My dad, with John Philip Sousa’s “Transit of Venus March” playing in the background, reported a few minutes ago from Newington, CT: “It was an overcast and cloudy morning in Newington, but I was able to view the Sun between the clouds, and I was able to see the little dot, [the] disc of Venus, crossing the Sun, nearing the end of its transit. … So it was successful, and a very fine thing to see.”

No further word yet from my mom, beyond her initial post stating that she was en route to Central Park after seeing the sunrise — but not, with her naked eye at least, Venus — from Washington Heights.

More on the transit later in the day. For now, here are articles from CNN and the AP. Here’s a gallery of transit photos from the AP and Reuters, and here’s an excellent bunch of photo galleries from

audio post powered by audblog

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004 Special Venus Transit Correspondent Joe Loy reports live from Newington, CT:

audio post powered by audblog

Transit: One more hour

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

The dog woke me up, so I figured I’d check on the transit.

As you can see, Venus is now approaching the Sun’s other limb. The transit will conclude a little over an hour from now.

Here’s an extreme close-up, from the Swedish Solar Telescope:

This is kind of a cool image, too.

The sun is up now in Connecticut and New York. If all went as planned, my dad should be videotaping the transit right now, and my mom should be en route to Central Park. According to Weather Underground, it’s clear in NYC but overcast in central Connecticut… of course, it has a little over an hour to clear before the transit ends. Can’t wait to hear how it went and, hopefully, see those images!

In other news, be sure to check out Orange County Correspondent Andrew Long’s great audio-posts (1, 2, 3) on his attempts to participate in the remarkable farewell to President Reagan in Simi Valley.

NEWS FLASH: While I was composing this post, Andrew added a fourth and final audio-post from Simi Valley, and my mom reported live from New York: “I witnessed the post-sunrise from Washington Heights in Manhattan and got some images of the Sun between the haze of the horizon and some cloudcover somewhat higher up, and these pictures will be posted later this evening. I will now head downtown and see if I can take some pictures enhanced by the technology at the Hayden Planetarium.”

UPDATE: USC astronomy professor and solar expert Werner Däppen, responding to an e-mail I sent yesterday, reports: “I am in Leiden, the Netherlands, and I just saw the [transit] begin 2 hours ago. It is still going on. We have super weather.” Neat!