2004 Transit of Venus

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:

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

Second Contact

Mid Transit

Third Contact (low contrast due to high cirrus passing over)

Immediately before Fourth Contact

Timeline for
: 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


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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.





All text and images Copyright © 1997-2021 by Philip Perkins. All rights reserved.