Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Circle With A Dot.

Yesterday, June 5th, was a momentous day in astronomy history.  Venus, the brightest planet (often seen as a bright "star" on the horizon in the evening) made a special appearance.
For seven hours, she stood between us and the Sun, casting her infinitesimal shadow on Earth.
I had to take a picture. ;)

Venus can be seen on the lower right-hand corner of the Sun's image.
On this next picture, the top two arrow are pointing to barely-seen sunspots, and the lowest one is pointing to Venus' shadow. 

How did I get such pictures, you ask?  Well my brother found instructions to take a pair of binoculars and set them on a tripod.  

The binoculars shrink the image of the Sun, making it possible to view Venus' crossing on a piece of paper. The cardboard is to shade the area around the binoculars so that it's easier to see the Sun on the paper. 

It worked pretty well, don't you think?

A photo of the actual Sun, for good measure. ;)

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