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Old Jun 9, 2004, 9:26 PM   #1
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When it was time to observe the rare Transit of Venus on 8-June-2004 I didn't have any special equipment for photography. However, I was surprised how well it worked to simply hold my Nikon 995 digital camera up to the eyepiece. Many photos had to be rejected due to camera movement, but a few came out pretty well. For my diary of this event, with several photographs, see http://www.jfcampbell.us/venus/index.htm

Sometimes it is worthwhile to just see what you can accomplish with what you have. Next time I'll be prepared with an accessory that will allow me to attach the camera firmly to the telescope. In this case the quality wasn't what I would prefer, but at least I have a record of seeing a rare and special event.
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Old Jun 10, 2004, 3:16 AM   #2
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An excellent first post. I to tried to photograph it but the only way I could was by using my spotting scope and photographing its reflection. Sounds simple but wasn't. I gave up in the end because the heat was too much for me. I did see it in the reflection though and I'm enjoying seeing the other photographs. Spain and Egypt have produced some great ones.
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Old Jun 10, 2004, 3:55 AM   #3
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Nice shot. it turned out good. :-)
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Old Jun 10, 2004, 9:55 AM   #4
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Thanks for your comments. I should provide the standard warning that looking directly at the sun, especially if you're using any optical aid such as binoculars, telescope or spotting scope, will damage your eyes. Do not try that! In my case I didn't have any special photo accessories, but I did use a special solar filter on my telescope which made direct observing possible.



The photo shows someone using solar projection. You use the telescope like a compound lens focusing an image on a white card. The fellow on the right is holding the card, the guy on the left is trying to get a photo of it. This is very effective for viewing, but my tries at photography using this technique haven't been very successrul. If anyone plans to photograph a solar eclipse here is an interesting approach. Photograph the ground in the shade of a tree. The little gaps between leaves can act as pinholes in a pinhole camera. During an eclipse you can find hundreds of pinhole images under a tree showing the stages of the eclipse. Even light coming in through a window with the blinds closed can work. Light showing through the little holes in the blinds will project pinhole images. Of course, this wouldn't work for totality. Using the pinhole technique would certainly have shown the image of venus crossing the sun. I wish I had thought to try this with the Transit.

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Old Jun 10, 2004, 10:02 AM   #5
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I noticed that when we had a solar eclipse here. There was an olive tree on the patio and the shadows of the leaves cast lots of little eclipses onto the ground. I never knew why exactly, didn't give it a passing thought. I just stood there and starred. :-)
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Old Jun 16, 2004, 7:55 AM   #6
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could not see this here as we had way too much cloud on the day
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