Good luck to all of you for the transit of Venus 2012

The day for which we have been waiting and preparing for has finally arrived at our doorstep. In the US, the weather forecast is not looking good  due to two sharp dips in the jet stream, over the eastern and northwestern U.S. I will still keep up my hopes and I urge you all to do the same. You never know how surprising life and weather can be.

This will be responsible for enough clouds and rain to render viewing of the Venus transit unlikely, except online or on-air. — Weather.com

This is the forecast for today’s weather in the US:

weatherforecastmap

Weather forecast for Tuesday, May 5, 2012. (Courtesy: http://www.weather.com/news/weather-forecast/venus-transit-forecast-20120604)

Due to the weather I am expecting to face some strong winds. In one of the previous blog entries, I posted about my solar filter which can easily attach onto a standard (Z-PRO) size photographic ND filter holder. While the advantage of such a design is that it is not custom-built for any particular lens and you could use it with any lens that can be fixed with the filter holder, one big problem is that in windy conditions it can “catch” the wind and act like a sail. This can introduce a lot of camera shake during capture and pose huge problems especially for telephoto lenses. So, I had to quickly come up with an action plan for windy situations. I didn’t have the time to take pictures of each step for the making of this filter, but it is easy enough that you can get the idea. I basically used a foam pencil cup holder that can slide onto the lens. At the object-facing end of the cup, I attached a cardboard cylindrical ring onto which I had already fixed the AstroSolar film like a drum. Here are the photographs of my modified setup:

For a quick test, I took 3 hand-held photos of the Sun (12:49 P.M.) using the above contraption. The first image of the Sun below is one single hand-held photo of the sun. The second one is a “stacked” image from the 3 photographs using RegiStax 6 (I am a new user of RegiStax myself, so the processing may not be optimal)

A single photograph of the Sun from the stack of 3 photographs. Taken hand-held with a Canon EF 70-300mm IS USM Lens, at 300mm (f/8, 1/4000 sec) with a Canon Rebel XT.

3 photographs stacked and processed (quick and dirty) using RegiStax 6. The umbra and penumbra of the sunspots are clearly visible.

With that, I would like to wish “Good luck” to all of you, and hope that the weather will be with us.

3 comments

  1. Anangelu · · Reply

    The weather was really bad in my area, the clouds covered all of the sun after a short storm that lasted for over one hour. Heavy rain poured down. When it all stopped, I stood there with my gear hoping in vain and 30 minutes before 6pm I realized the situation was not going to improve. This probably happen in A BIG area of the south eastern area. Bad luck!

    1. Hi anangelu,
      I am so so sorry to hear this! Damn! I and my wife came back home a shot while back. We had gone to a nearby lake-side to photograph the transit. Well, the weather was bad to start and then for a long time in between. We got to see the first 7/8 mins, then again for some time after about 20 mins. Then there was complete cloud cover for at least 45 mins. There were some people who were photographing with a camera attached to a telescope; they left, but I wanted to remain true to my own recommendations. We again got to see some of the transit of Venus during the last 20 mins. of the sunset. We are also happy that we showed the transit the Venus to lots of curious people through our camera and they were wowed. I am feeling terribly sorry for you, and my happiness now seems lessened. Let’s hope for some better things some other day.

      Regards,
      Indranil.

  2. Let’s enjoy the work of other photographer’s! It would have been a great feeling to have one of my own, but it is good to see other people’s work. I am glad so many people were interested in such a marvelous event all over the world. You just have to look at photographic sites and enjoy. Another time, in another life since it will not happen in this one.

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