Posted on June 5, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
When planets align
With a 400 mm lens and a specially made filter, Summit County astrophotographer Daniel McVey captured a few images of a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event, as Venus moved across the face of the sun. Click on the image to visit photographer Daniel McVey’s website. The smaller black dots are sunspots on the face of the sun.
Photos by Daniel McVey
SUMMIT COUNTY —Every once in a long while, our nearest planetary neighbor passes directly between Earth and the sun. Perhaps not as dramatic as a total solar or lunar eclipse, but of significance to sky watchers nonetheless because of its relative rarity. The next transit of Venus isn’t until 2117, so if you missed it today, you’re out of luck, unless someone invents a longevity potion. Here’s the NASA web page for the transit: http://venustransit.nasa.gov/2012/transit/.
Along with giving a sense of the size of the sun, this rare event helped astronomers calculate the distance between the Earth and the sun.
The 2004 transit, as seen by NASA’s solar-observing TRACE satellite. NASA/TRACE.
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