Wednesday, June 06, 2012

a spot on the sun


I did a trial run of my venus transit setup. Trial runs and testing has been ingrained in my engineer thinking. Monday afternoon was nice and clear for the trial run. Luckily the day of the Venus Transit, Tuesday, was also clear and mild. 

The first thing I discovered during my trial run was that at about 5PM this time of year our property is almost completely in the shade. No sun watching with trees and houses in the way.



I found a sunny spot out near our mailbox and set-up my binocular projection configuration (last Friday’s post had a link that described this configuration). My daughter and I could see 3 Sunspots. Later I checked online and found the Sun’s picture of the day. The online space telescope image had more than 3 spots but the 3 largest ones were in the same arrangement we observed. 



If I had used a real tripod I would have eliminated the problem of parts jiggling which caused the image to blur. I don’t own a tripod but I found a clamp to fix the binocular to a step stool. Taking a picture of the Sun’s image wasn’t very easy because the light breeze seem to move the cardboard just as I was about to click the picture button. Occasional focus problems were minor.  Overall the transit event was very enjoyable and easy to watch.

The very beginning of Venus crossing on the Sun's image - below.  Notice the small black spot on the bottom edge of the Sun.



The transit had just start when I called a neighbor to take a look. He had been wondering what I was doing. Before my daughter returned from a late afternoon appointment, I had shown Venus on the Sun’s image to about 5 neighborhood kids and a few adults too. 

Apparently the two girls across the street were impressed enough that they talked their grandfather into driving over to see it.  It's great to see kids excited about space.



Note the shape of the sun appears egg shaped in some pictures because of the angle of the camera and the cardboard.


Since the sun was getting close to going behind a tree on our street. My daughter and I decided to move to a nearby small park. We shared our Venus/Sun image with even more people at the park.

I'm a regular visitor of Unknown Mami's SIMC photo collection.  You should check her photo links (click the box).




Unknown Mami
 

25 comments:

OneStonedCrow said...

Good one Bill! ... glad one of my buddies made the effort and got some pics ...

... all I saw was this pic online ... http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m57rv7iX1I1qzra8vo1_1280.jpg

... who's that in the basket?

 

Jennifer Richardson said...

THOROUGHLY cool!does my heart good:)
-Jennifer

Tami Miller said...

I see the dot! I see the dot!  If I didn't know it was Venus I would have thought you had a speck of dirt on your camera lens.

Joanne said...

A smile on my face.  My dad (an engineer) set up such contraptions for solar eclipses.  Probably lunar eclipses, too, but I don't recall our neighborhood turning out for one of those.

Bearmancartoons said...

Nice...or is it really a Mole??

lisleman said...

 It amazing to see anything that is about 25 Million miles away.  The dot moved too so I guess it would need to be an insect on on lens.  When we noticed the sun spots my daughter wondered if it was dirt on the lens.
thanks

lisleman said...

 thanks I like that picture  - more interesting shape than Venus

lisleman said...

 yes a Sun Mole - first discovered by a cartoonist.

lisleman said...

 I was thinking this setup could be used for solar eclipses and just looking for sunspots.  The lunar eclipses are the best IMHO because of the shades of orange and red and you don't need to worry about hurting your eyes.

lisleman said...

Thanks - glad you enjoyed the pics

Barbara said...

That is so cool!! I didn't even try to capture it. I'm very impressed, Bill!!

unknownmami said...

Nifty, to say the least.

savannah said...

how exciting for you and your neighbors, sugar! we were rained soaked the entire day, so we had no opportunity to see a thing, except online! still, it was massively impressive! well done you! xoxox

lisleman said...

 The sharing really added to the fun.  thanks

lisleman said...

 thanks

lisleman said...

 thanks

Mrs4444 said...

Fun stuff. I tried to peek at it but did not have a fancy contraption for viewing. I couldn't get over how BRIGHT the sun was; is it always like that?! :)

Profwaynewsmith said...

That is one cool post in every sense of the word.

lisleman said...

 I'm no expert but I suspect the brightness last Tuesday had more to do with the clear weather we were having in the Midwest.  thanks

W.C. Camp said...

Brilliant!!! I love your application of the binoculars but I am frankly surprised that
given all your experience with messing with machines, toys, gears, etc. that you
don't have a tripod somewhere around the estate??? W.C.C.

lisleman said...

 My wife said she had a tripod but if so we have not seen it for years.   I guess it has legs :)
thanks

Tara R. said...

Your Rube Goldberg gadget worked great! You captured some wonderful images.

Angelia Sims said...

Awesome! Such a once-in-a-lifetime viewing you captured. I saw the time-lapse video some pros did, but to see for yourself? Wow! Great job.

lisleman said...

 thanks I'll try to remember it for the next a solar eclipse.

lisleman said...

Here in the midwest we had about two hours of it before the sun set so I did watch the rest online.  But I agree completely with you about how special seeing it through your own equipment with your eyes is.  Many of the spectacular space images require long time exposures and can only be seen with a camera.  Those images are wonderful but seeing it directly live is different.

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