Two Transits of Venus

June 8, 2004 (below)

Click here for photos
from the next transit, on June 5, 2012.

2006 November 8
Transit of Mercury

These photographs were made with a Nikon D100 and an Astro-Physics 5-inch F6 refractor from an overlook above the Catawba River near Connelly's Springs, NC. See below.
To see the Transit of Mercury on 2006 November 8: click here.

All photos ©2004, David Cortner, all rights reserved.

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Waiting... fifteen minutes till sunrise. Fog down on the treetops, a threat of rain. The weather was drearier than this flash-assisted 1/2-second exposure might suggest. I wouldn't have bothered but for the thought that if James Cook would sail halfway around the world to see a transit, who am I not to get up early for the same opportunity? Just the same, I'm thinking it's a good thing I brought something to read.

What a difference an hour makes. By the time I made this picture, all the photos above were "in the can," and the disk of Venus was crossing the Sun's limb. The Sun emerged about 6:30 with a ghostly Venus near the end of its transit. Timestamps applied by the camera show that the sky was clear enough for photography twice, and the two intervals totalled a little more than 12 minutes. This is about as clear as it ever got. Immediately after, the overcast became complete, and I did not see the Sun again all day. Nice timing!