Transit of Venus at the 8th of June 2004

 After a 122 year waiting time the planet Venus is traversing the sun disk

Th. Boeckel, A. Heidl

Lucifer (Venus) only 38h before the transit The course of time

At first a really unique photo from Martin Rietze. It shows Venus only 38h before the transit. At this place much Thanks to Martin Rietze because he supported us with his 65 mm Zeiss Refractor and for this time sooo important H-alpha filter *. At the time of the transit Martin was together with the German TV (ZDF) and the Baader Planetarium Team at the top of the Zugspitze. May there will be some images in the next future on this site.


Far away of any trouble we fixed our telescopes in a forest idyll scene close Landsberg. Spending the evening still at the campfire under the open sky we already noticed a clear atmosphere during the whole night 5:30: No cloud at the horizon and extremely calm conditions. After the weather dilemma of the past weeks we began to appreciated this situation very much.

A magnificent protuberance

6:50: For the first time we take the coming up sun in visor by our telescopes. By the use of an H - alpha of filter it was possible to see protuberances. Sensationally!! With open mouth we did not trust our eyes. An enormous protuberance stood for instance 30-40° far away from the entrance of the Venus. In scale of the sun radius of apprx. 700000 km a resulting discharge of apprx. 190.000 km into space was observed by us. If you imagine that the observation of a protuberance in this big size is an absolute rarity and come together with a procedure of celestial mechanics which happens every 122 years, you may ask yourself whether right things happens there above?

6:57          7:05          7:29

The view through the refractor shows everything 180° turned

Nikon digital D70, exposure 250 ASA, 1/260 second, Zeiss 65/840 Refractor, H-Alpha 1.0 Å  (color rework)

Very speedy the protuberances lifts itself of the sun surface and changes minutely its appearance. Measured, this gas output rose in approximately 30 minutes around 60.000 km. Some shreds of material did fall the sun gravitation to victim, the other ones suspended itself or moved into space.

The Entrance


Nikon digital D70, exposure 250 ASA, 1/160 second, Zeiss 65/840 Refractor, H-Alpha 1.0 Å  (color rework)


7:20 Sun-ate begins. Inexorably the 41 million km from the earth distanced planet Venus pushes itself with a diameter of 12.100 km before the sun disk. In the total view (down) both highlights are to be seen.7:33 Venus in half entrance. Together with the magnificent protuberances a really fascinating and unforgettable sight. Now, close to the entrance of Venus smaller protuberances are to be seen.

* H-alpha filter exclusively serves here the protuberances observation

The drop phenomenon ?


Nikon digital D70, exposure 250 ASA, 1/400 second, Zeiss 65/840 Refractor, H-Alpha 1.0 Å (color rework)

7:40 Starting from this time the disk  of Venus should become detached of the sun edge. But a further phenomenon occurs now. The drop phenomenon which was seen over minutes. The favoured theory so far as mentioned says that probably refractions of light of the Venus atmosphere bind visually the disk of Venus at the sun edge. After my knowledge more details cannot be said, since among other things like atmospheric disturbances on earth can be the reason. These illustrated manifestations like here were also seen in the search ocular of the camera and are not depending of the exposure times.

 The passage


Nikon digital D70, exposure 250 ASA, 1/400 second, Zeiss 65/840 Refractor, H-Alpha 1.0 Å  (color rework)

7:50 The disk of Venus stands now clearly separated from the sun edge and the planet moves in the next hours (6) on a chord line. Nice to see that the two hours ago powerful protuberance did nearly collapsed completely.

Halftime of transit


 Analogy exposures Minolta x-700 ASP 400, Baader sun foil

Heat delirium

10:30 The first hectic has gone, but the heat is coming



 The exit


Nikon digital D70, exposure 250 ASA, 1/400 second, Zeiss 65/840 Refraktor, H-Alpha 1.0 Å

13:01 after an intensive treatment by the sun which passed a short time before the zenith we tried to get the on goings photographically. By the midday brightness the laptop screen was totally blind. Here we got really problems to adjust for example the exposing intervals of the camera. 13.04 The transit in the last minutes. In contrast to the entrance the drop phenomenon is nearly missing. Possibly this occurrence of diffraction of light is to be attributed to the terrestrial atmosphere..

Ring of Venus (Lomonossov-Bow)

Refraction of the sun light  in the Venus atmosphere.(Outside sun disk)

13:12 And here the end with surprise: After looking on every exit image I wondered myself what phenomenon was shown outside the sun disk. So I was told from Martin that only a few photographers made it possible to get the refraction of the sunlight in the atmosphere. And here is our result. This image is three times overlayed and changed to black and white.

 Venus is passing the sun edge in a sharp outline and left around 13:23 this cosmic arena.

Well toasted of the heat, and easily tumbling we left our astro- technology- equipped forest and meadow idyll ...suddenly a cool beer in the middle of the forest. Due to this discovery it was possible to discuss about this event a long time.

 Also supporting this astro event: Thomas Huber and Alfred Heidl

In comparision the transit of Mercury

Transit of Venus 2012

Venustansit 2012 by Boeckelsolar eclipse australia 2012

All eclipses & occultations


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From Etna to Stromboli     Planets & Space

©photos by Thorsten Boeckel, Andreas Heidl, Text Boeckel last modification 11.6.2004

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