Thank you to all who watched
the live webcast and for your tremendous feedback!!
Transit Animation: All transit images were stored and have been used to construct an MPEG animation of the entire transit - this has been available for download here for the past 6 months but owing to the size (10Mb) it has now been removed. You can still download it from the BBC Wiltshire website, alternatively and I will make it available to you (please mention whether you have broadband).
Notes on the animation:
- MPEG1 encoding was used which should play successfully on most media players. However there is a time stamp on each image that is only visible on players with larger displays - Windows Media Player (or equivalent) is preferred - QuickTime (and similar) may provide too small a display. Two images per frame was used to allow the movie to progress at a reasonable rate for viewing.
- the image appears to jump around during the animation - this is due to periodic repositioning of the telescope to keep it centered on Venus, and also to odd blocks of missed frames (cause unknown).
- the image capture rate is one per 30 seconds during most of the animation but was changed to one per minute during the latter part to avoid maximum file count being exceeded (it was changed back to 30 seconds towards 3rd contact)
Key Events: the five original images below show the key events of the 2004 transit of Venus. All images are original and not retouched in any way. Please see below for the timeline of events from the viewing location.
Just after First Contact
Third Contact (low contrast due to high cirrus passing over)
Immediately before Fourth Contact
Timeline for Location: Ramsbury, Wiltshire : 51° 26' 48" N : 1° 36' 5" W
The live WEBCAST started at 6:15 BST / 5:15 UT June 8, 2004
Key Event Timeline Time BST Time UT Sun's Altitude 1st Contact 6:19:58 5:19:58 10.7° 2nd Contact 6:39:42 5:39:42 13.6° Mid Transit 9:22:44 8:22:44 38.6° 3rd Contact 12:04:11 11:04:11 59.0° 4th Contact 12:23:34 11:23:34 60.2°
UT = Universal time (also GMT)
BST (British Summer Time) = UT + 1 hour
Diagram showing the track of Venus across the Sun
Courtesy: Fred Espenak NASA
I welcome your contact - for more information about anything on this site
Technical Information : The webcam images were taken with a Philips ToUcam Pro using an Astro-Physics 155 EDF refractor working at f/5.2 on an AP900 GTO mount. Willing Webcam was used to capture the image sequences, time stamp them, upload them to the server, and create an archive of all images on the local hard disk. The equipment needed to be moved to a remote part of the garden to gain visibility of the complete transit sequence, from 1st Contact to 4th Contact - click here to see a picture of the equipment setup.