My Transit of Venus, Sydney 2004 / Bristol, England 2012

Back in June 2004 I setup a little makeshift observatory on Mount Steele in Moore Park to observe a very rare event, a Transit of Venus in front of the sun, an event that links directly back to the Captain Cook’s journey to the southern seas and by lucky chance ended up discovering Australia.

Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable astronomical phenomena and currently occur in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, so this transit connects to observations also made from Tahiti 1769 on the first voyage of Captain Cook, at a location still known as “Point Venus”.

My advanced equipment setup on Moore Park hill, a telescope, white plastic plate and park bench:

And there she is!

And after a bit of ‘post production’, processing….

Transits can currently occur only in June or December. These dates are slowly becoming later in the year; before 1631, transits occurred in May and November. Transits usually occur in pairs, on nearly the same date eight years apart. This is because the length of eight Earth years is almost the same as 13 years on Venus, so every eight years the planets are in roughly the same relative positions. This approximate conjunction usually results in a pair of transits.

The next transit occurs in 2012 June 5–6, Visible in its entirety from Hawaii, Alaska, Australia, the Pacific and eastern Asia, with the beginning of the transit visible from North America. The next is not then until 2117 December 10– don’t miss 2012 !!!!

Bristol June 6 2012… Got a brief glimpse before the queens diamond jubilee clouds moved in…notice the bunting on the balcony :)


the virtual mobile sunrise view from Bristol (technology has moved on during the intervening 8 years)
and simultaneously at virtual sunset in Sydney.

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