The alarm went off just after 4am this morning. Dragging myself to the window in the hope last night’s rain had passed and the sky would allow unrestricted access to the transit of Venus, I drew back the curtains to find a dull cloudy grey blanket with occasional downpours of rain.
I waited up for half an hour to see if there was any sign of improvement, and if anything it rained more.
While the images already being posted online in their hundreds provide a great catalogue of this special event, I personally lucked out again thanks to the British weather.
Typically, when I got up later the clouds were breaking and the Sun could be seen. I’m prepared to admit I spent rather a lot of time making a homemade solar filter for my camera using Baader AstroSolar Safety Film, so I was certainly not going to waste a chance to at least test it.
The next image that follows is bittersweet for me. Sweet in the fact that I’ve been able to image the Sun using a standard zoom lens on my Canon Eos 550D for the first time, but bitter because is shows I could clearly have captured the Venus transit this morning if only the weather had played ball.
C’est la vie.
Sadly my image is missing the very important detail of the planet Venus during transit, as the sunspots match those seen in the SDO image released by NASA. If only it could have held out for a few more hours (ha!) I’d have got it, and with some degree of clarity too. Not to be seen again until 2117…
Using this solar filter however has sparked an idea, one which will require some more sunspot activity but also a week of good weather with clear skies at about the same time of the day for several days in a row.
I’d like to show the relative movement of similar massive sunspots over a short period of time.
So should this come to fruition the transit blocking clouds may well have had a silver lining