This photo shows the planet Venus transiting in front of the sun setting over South Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona. Venus can only be seen transiting the sun from Earth when its orbital path is aligned with that of Earth at the same time that it's on our side of the sun. This is a very rare event that occurs in pairs that are about eight years apart. This won't take place again until the year 2117. In this photograph, the antennas are 10.8 miles away, Venus is about 27 million miles away, and the sun is about 94 million miles away.
The next two photographs show the transit a few hours earlier. The smaller photograph is at 100 percent scale (each screen pixel represents each camera pixel). It shows the aureole (arc) around the portion of Venus that has not yet passed in front of the sun. The aureole is sunlight that is refracted by Venus' atmosphere around it from the other side. The larger photograph shows the entire disc of the sun a few minutes after Venus has crossed in front of it.
Photographer: Rick Scott
Date: June 5, 2012
Camera: Canon EOS 40D digital camera
Camera Mode: RAW
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5 for RAW conversion and image processing
Top Photograph (sunset composite)
Lens: 4" f/10 Meade 2045 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope
Exposure: (sun) 1/15 sec at ISO 200 with a glass ND5 solar filter, (foreground) 1/2000 sec at ISO 100
Middle Photograph (aureole)
Lens: 10" f/4.6 home-made Lurie-Houghton telescope and Vernonscope 2.4X 2" Barlow lens
Exposure: 1/400 sec at ISO 100 with a Baader Astro Film ND5 solar filter
Lens: 10" f/4.6 home-made Lurie-Houghton telescope
Exposure: 1/250 sec at ISO 100 with a Baader Astro Film ND5 solar filter
Updated: June 9, 2012