Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Transit of Venus in Pictures

The Transit of Venus in Pictures

One of the rarest sights in the sky took place last night and early this morning – the Transit of Venus.  It began just after 6 in the evening in North America and was visible to most as a tiny black dot - unlike this extraordinary image from NASA Goddard.

transit of venus 2012 1

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Seen above in Ultra High Definition, this rare event (which your grandchildren might see if they live to a good age) happens when the planet crosses directly in the path between the Sun and Earth, becoming observable against the solar disk.

transit of venus 2012 4Image Credit Flickr User bobthemtnbiker

transit of venus 2012 5Image Credit Flickr User Bob Gill

Above, the transit seen from Albuquerque in New Mexico and Romeoville, Illinois. The past decade has seen something of a renaissance in popular interest in astronomy and this event has given both experts and amateurs alike an opportunity to capture this amazing phenomenon. Here we present photographs from the experts (NASA) and ordinary people – in an extraordinary collection of images.

transit of venus 2012 6Image Credit Flickr User Roger Smith

transit of venus 2012 7Image Credit Flickr User Tarique Sani

Somewhat obscured from view in Starkville, Mississippi, and again the same in Maharashtra in India, the planet Venus looks tiny as it crosses the surface even though it is the size of the earth.  Clouds will always be a problem for both amateur and professional observers. The view of many eclipses have been blighted by too much cloud cover - yet despite the weather the photographers above manage to capture the moment wonderfully.

transit of venus 2012 8Image Credit Flickr User Jimnista

transit of venus 2012 9Image credit Flickr User Jimnista

Huntington and Long Beaches in California, and two shots which most photographers could not have resisted.

transit of venus 2012 10Image Credit Flickr User Lamanj

A number of techniques were used to capture the moment. This was taken in hydrogen alpha narrowband.

transit of venus 2012 11Image Credit Flickr User Alan Cordova

transit of venus 2012 12Image Credit Flickr User SantiMB

These shots were taken in Houston, Texas and Barcelona in Spain. Venus is sometimes called our ‘evil twin’ as conditions on the Venus could not be more different. If life exists there it is, to coin a phrase, not as we know it. Although it once had oceans all its water evaporated in to its atmosphere. It is now believed that is microscopic life evolved and persisted on Venus then this is where it may be.

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The US space agency NASA has given us the best possible views of the event through high-resolution images taken from its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), both in orbit around the Earth.

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NASA has also given us an idea what the event must have looked like from deep in space with these two remarkable artist's impressions.

The images are taken from this remarkable animation from NASA.

transit of venus 2012 17Image Credit Flickr User ZachStern

transit of venus 2012 18Image Credit Flickr User SimplyAlex

Washington DC and again cloud obscured the best views (top) as they did in Germany (the shot with the wind turbines). Yet only six transits have ever been recorded as having been observed - in 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882 and most recently in 2004 and so a little cloud is the least of our worries. This is because the transit is invisible to the naked eye and so without magnification, the event went unobserved, even though it has taken place 53 times between 2000 BCE and 2004.

transit of venus 2012 19Image Credit Flickr User Dave Malkoff

Dave Malkoff in Los Angeles managed to get this great shot of Venus on a Wire. Yet many amateur astronomers in the world over were disappointed. In many places it was cloudy with no sun visible. However, with the data collected from around the world it is hoped that this remarkable event will help in the search for planets around distance stars which could support life.

transit of venus 2012 20Image Credit Flickr User RedTim

transit of venus 2012 21Image Credit Flickr User Bobthemtnbiker

If you have missed it this time, perhaps these pictures will make up.  Otherwise you might want to consider suspended animation. The next transit of Venus will not take place until 2117.

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2 коментара:

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...


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