Transit of Venus as seen in California

My lovely wife is snapping photos already, as it has just started. Here’s a sample.

Canon 1D, ND400 filter, Hoya G filter, telephoto lens.

Via the WUWT Solar Page, here’s the image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory



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Not much chance of viewing up here in Washington.

Well done Mrs. Watts

Wonderful picture.

The Venus transit can be viewed ‘live’ at microwave frequencies (17GH) on imagery from the Nobeyama Radio Heliograph in Japan:
Here’s a picture of the heliograph, an array of 84 parabolic dish antennas (80 cm diameter) covering an area of about 10 football fields:


Just got in from showing it to my 2 teenage sons. We stacked up welding lenses until you couldn’t see the sun and then removed them until we could start to see it! We’re in Chicago.
Can’t wait for the total eclipse in 2017!!!

Gary Pearse

It nearly makes me cry, its so beautiful. It gives a kind of family feeling – these brave little planets circling this giant mama. This is the first time I’ve given any thought to the scale.


Cool! And take a look at the photos over at

I got home just as clouds were clearing (had I known they would I would have left earlier). However, my wife and I had time to dash over to a field by the town offices and set up the scope. The view was neat as the Sun began to set behind some pine trees. No photos, I can fit an Olympus OM-1 to the scope, but Olympus never made a digital back for it….
Watch it live at

Amazing pix, thank your wife from all of us. Gives you some sense of scale, doesn’t it?


A bit of Boston “Sunshine” up here in the NE. Ah well. Glad you got some clear enough weather.


There’s a live feed from numerous observatories (plus ongoing commentary) at SLOOH ( (h/t Instapundit and Popularmechanics,com)

See Venus on this cool orrerry.
[You can also set the date, set a Tychonean view, etc.]


There is a LiveStream of the Venus transit as seen by SDO at .


It’s well under way here. There are several websites showing it.
use the live stream from University of Queensland. Good clear day here in Brisbane.
The schoolkids are all using pinhole cameras in the school grounds.
(We did that for an eclipse of the sun when I was in primary school. The Sun had only just been invented in those far-off days.)
There was supposed to be a stream from Alice, but Telstra stuffed it up. They damaged the cable.
The show seems pretty popular, and yet they say they won’t do another for a hundred years or so. This seems just silly to me. Why not do “Transit II – The Return of Venus” in a year or so? Make a bit of money from the franchise before people forget.
The transit of Venus is very important to us here in Aus. The official reason for Cook’s first voyage down here was to observe the transit. Once that was done, he opened his secret orders which said “Poke around down there. If you find anything, grab it before the blasted Froggies get there.”
He did, and ended up on the East coast of Australia and claimed it. He landed near Botany Bay, which was convenient because it was just a bus ride to the center of Sydney,
He also charted and claimed NZ, but no-one cares about that.
And, of course, I’m playing Holst.

Baa Humbug

Wonderful, and a good reminder as to why that ginormous burning ball has nothing to do with climate change.

Paul Penrose

Went outside with my binoculars and a piece of white paper. It took me only a few seconds to project an image of the sun onto the paper. My wife saw it right away, “Hey, is that little spot Venus?” Pretty cool.

R. Shearer

It’s lower on the surface from my house in Colorado. I can almost feel it cancelling out the warming from CO2.

I turned a pair of Binoculars into a projector onto some A3 paper as a screen to show my work mates at morning tea. It worked well.

Bill Jamison

These images remind us of just how insignificant we are in the universe.

The scientific and human back story of major expeditions to measure it. A Sousa to commemorate it and who knows what else. This is fascinating and if your interested in the history of science a great read.

TG McCoy (Douglas DC)

There was a spot on my binocs too-rain..

Luther Wu

RoHa says:
June 5, 2012 at 5:12 pm
He also charted and claimed NZ, but no-one cares about that.
and a Haka gets done just for you…

Robert of Ottawa

Realizing that Venus is only slightly smaller than the Earth, and seeing it against our mighty very ordinary and uninteresting star, it makes you feel like an Adele song; kind of passionate but not important.


@Luther Wu
“and a Haka gets done just for you…”
Well, what do the Kiwis expect? NZ is one of those countries which only exists so that the neighbour can make fun of it, just like Norway, Canada, Belgium, and Wales.

a jones

Alack been low cloud here all day and will be tomorrow. So I shall have to view at secondhand as it were.
Kindest Regards

Neil Jordan

Thank you. Beautiful image, and useful links. According to an article in this morning’s Los Angeles Times, this transit is the second of the pair this century. The next one visible from this area will be in 2117. I set up my Wild T-2 so my family and I could watch and photograph the transit projected onto a white card – sunshot fashion. The little black spot slowly moving across the face of the sun puts everything into perspective.


I see a horse…


These days, I’m very rustic with a pinhole camera. Takes almost 2 m to resolve Venus, but I did. The sun hasn’t set, but it just went behind some cirrus, so I think we’re done here. Hope you continue to have better luck about 100 miles north of us, Anthony.


Venus was a lot larger than I expected. I was expecting something like the composite pictures that compare the size of the planets to the size of the sun. I did not think about the orbit is 0.72 x Earths orbit so it looked 4x larger than the little dot I thought I would see. Seeing varied from indifferent to quite good at 32x here in MN.

Meet the newest member of the Team
…specializing in Solar physics.☺

Luther Wu

RoHa says:
June 5, 2012 at 6:56 pm
@Luther Wu
“and a Haka gets done just for you…”
Well, what do the Kiwis expect? NZ is one of those countries which only exists so that the neighbour can make fun of it, just like Norway, Canada, Belgium, and Wales.
Someone’s making fun of Canadians, eh?
The Gall of those Hoseurs!

Werner Brozek

Thank you! And Venus would look even smaller if it was at Mercury’s orbit.


RoHa says:
June 5, 2012 at 6:56 pm
NZ is one of those countries which only exists so that…
Oz is unique. It exists to make everything else look good.

and this is something that has only been seen seven times

a dood


Bloody weather in Japan… stoopid Typhoon kicking cloud and Failure over me – there was one 10-minute window of opportunity where there was a gap in the cloud, and I tried taking some photo’s with my camera and a decent filter but to no avail… then by the time I got my telescope out and set up, the cloud closed in again – ces’t la vie!
The consolation is that Keck Observatory is doing a splendid live webcast on Ustream.
Also, great photos guys!

Owen in Ga

Ferd: My fav Australia joke is from a bunch of Australian blokes.

That’s the short version, but fun. It really encourages us potential tourists. So catchy!

It was pouring rain in Calgary, when a little thin spot appeared in the clouds, and BINGO, I grabbed my beat up old Cybershot and snapped this one:

F. Ross

Smokey says:
June 5, 2012 at 5:06 pm
See Venus on this cool orrerry.

Really impressive. Thanks for that.


Snapped this about 45 minutes ago, as the sun set over the San Francisco Bay. Hand held, 400mm Canon lens with polarizing and red filters. It was too fricking cold to get the tripod set up.


@ferd berple
There is a continual stream of immigrants from NZ to Australia. The Kiwis say that this raises the average IQ of both countries.

Doug S

Wow! Fantastic pictures Mrs. Watts. This removes all doubts as to why is the most viewed science website. Well done.

George E. Smith;

Well I started recording shots right at 1500 in Sunnyvale CA. Wasn’t supposed to start till 1503. Can’t say I could detect Venus before 1515, but when I first saw it, it was just a kink in the solar limb. I quit taking pictures at 1700, as a tree was going around the earth and going to block the sun.
I was using a Nikon D3100, and the solar disk completely filled the narrow width of the DX format. I shot at 400 ASA, and 1/200th second exposures (some at 1/400, and 1/1000 (too dim)) Taken through 1400 mm Questar, whick normally would be f/16 but I was using a small 30 mm off axis chromium sun filter.
I just sat the Questar down on the driveway, and didn’t even check the axis altitude, an pointing, and the sun stayed pretty much on screen for the whole 2 hours. Biggest problem was the brain dead Nikon D3100, which won’t stay in the so-called live view mode, for more than a few seconds.
My pocket P&S Panasonic is infinitely smarter, and can operate in live view indefinitely. So I had to keep re-tripping the mirror each time to check image alignment.
Got lots of sunspots as well as the planet. Don’t know if I got the focus right, but with the very small aperture f/47, there probably is too much diffraction.
Don’t have any way to post the pictures. I’ll probably get some beter shots next time.

my bad is the most viewed science website and most appreciated.

“…There’s a little black spot on the sun today. It’s the same old thing as yesterday…”
Lyrics, King of Pain – Police.


How long can it be before some nutter claims to detect wayward CO2 gas blown off Venus and subsequently sucked into the Earth’s atmosphere?

Paulo Zappi

From Australia is easier to observe. Pictures taken with my mobile of projection from small telescope

Anthony H.

Here are my photos from Oakland, California, using a Nikon D800 and Sigma zoom at 500mm with 2x teleconverter and Mylar solar film:

I got a picture of it through clouds (also a rare event) in Muscat


Kinda funny that all the “Science Sites” on the CAGW side are not mentioning a simple scientific curiosity of a planetary transit. NASA saw a good science moment even though we do not need to do the Halley geometry for distance anymore. Pettit was up in the ISS snapping shots.
Although, it was interesting tripping over an opinion over at James’ Empty Blog… 😉