June 5th- The Transit of Venus
Posted on June 6, 2012
Transits of Venus across the solar disc are rare events that occur twice in eight years, separated by gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years. The last solar transit of Venus was in 2004; the one today will be the last one for another 105 years until the next solar transit in 2117.
So, with this rarity in mind, Sam and I sped over to Chapman’s parking structure and set up his 60D with a 70-200mm lens (at 200mm, the highest level of magnification), and 2 neutral density filters (which cut down light) over the lens, with the lens’s aperture at f/32 (a pinhole, essentially), and the shutter speed at 1/8,000th of a second.
And we saw this…
Out of curiosity, I began to play with the settings in Photoshop. I started messing with the exposure settings, and after dropping the exposure of the RAW file down as low as they would go, previously invisible sunspots on the sun’s surface were suddenly visible everywhere across the surface, as was the roiling surface of the sun itself. I never expected our equipment to be able to photograph minute details like this…
And last but not least, here’s the entire frame of the photo.
Pretty immense. Maybe if the photo of the day is still going in 2117, I’ll photograph it again. But yeah. Once in a lifetime indeed. Pretty happy that we got photographs of this :) .
Thanks to Sam Hemann for letting me use his equipment while my camera is in the shop. Go look at his stuff.