Transit of Venus: First Images

Article written: 6 Jun , 2012
Updated: 23 Dec , 2015


The transit of Venus across the face of the Sun — the last one for another 105 years — has begun! Here are some first images from various astrophotographers, telescopes, space missions. This first one comes from amateur astronomer Jason Melquist from Minneapolis, Minnesota USA taken just as Venus began its ingress into the Sun’s interior face.

See more below, and we’ll be adding images as they come in! And if you aren’t watching our live webcast, see it here.

This image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory has a definite ‘WOW!’ factor, with huge coronal loops just under Venus transiting the Sun:

Solar Dynamics Observatory image of the Venus transit with stunning coronal loops. Credit: NASA/SDO

An awesome shot of a plane transiting the Sun along with Venus. This is a cross view stereo pair and can be viewed in 3-D by the free fusion method. Credit: BillDavis6959 on Flickr

From the Solar Dynamics Observatory: Planet Venus transiting the Sun in the 304 Anstrom wavelength at approx. 90,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Credit: NASA/SDO

This one comes via Camilla SDO, the fearless mascot of the Solar Dynamics Observatory, who says of this image taken in 304 Angstrom wavelength, “This channel is especially good at showing areas where cooler dense plumes of plasma (filaments and prominences) are located above the visible surface of the Sun. Many of these features either can’t be seen or appear as dark lines in the other channels. The bright areas show places where the plasma has a high density.”

Below is a quick first movie from SDO of Venus’ ingress in 171 Angstrom!

And here’s SDO’s first “official” image of the transit, in 171 Anstrom wavelength:

Venus transit from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the first view. Credit: NASA/SDO

View from Mike Phillips, who participated in Universe Today's live webcast feed. Credit: Mike Phillips.

Venus Transit and a few Sunspots, through passing clouds. Taken with Canon XTi/400D and hand-held Baader filter. Credit: Tavi Greiner.

Screenshot from the NASA Sun/Earth Day webcast feed, with telescopes using a red filter, via Beth Beck on Google+

Transit through the clouds. Credit: JCC_Starguy on Flickr.

Safe transit viewing setup by Jeremy Smith in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Jeremy Smith from Atlanta Georgia sent us views of his setup for ‘safe’ viewing of the transit. “My safe viewing rig is composed of a cheap tripod, a faulty rifle scope, three FedEx boxes and a FedEx mailer,” he said. “I got to see it with my daughter at home but we lost it behind the trees. We hightailed it to the local park but by the time we got there, it was a wash. We lost it behind clouds. The pictures of the transit didn’t turn out very well though. But I saw it!”

His view, below:

The 'safe' view of the Venus transit. Credit: Jeremy Smith

Venus continuing its transit of the Sun. Taken with a Megrez II 80mm, Thousand Oaks Optical Type 2+ White Light Glass Solar Filter and a Nikon 1 V1 camera with the 10-30 mm lens. Credit: Fernando Corrada

Transit of Venus photos taken from Matamata New Zealand as clouds allowed. Taken with filer on 400mm filter on Canon 60D. Credit: Alison Thomas

Want to get your Venus Transit image featured on Universe Today? Join our Flickr group, or send us your images by email (this means you’re giving us permission to post them). Please explain when you took it, the equipment you used, etc.

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7 Responses

  1. darkfire79 says

    Theres some great shots here. Wish I could’ve seen it myself.


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  3. JM says

    Weather was so clear on Big Island, Hawaii along the North Kona Coast. Exterior ingress occurred with Sun near the zenith. Very stable air made for great visuals through my 4″ refractor, but not so good on the neck. 3rd/4th contact was near Sunset. Unstable air made higher magnifications impossible. Quite a memorable day.

    Enjoyed the queue of people, especially the young children wanting a look in the telescope, each uttering “wow” etc.

  4. lcrowell says

    I got some good looks at this with my 6″ refractor. I had some people walk by an wonder what I was looking at in the broad day light. I let them look and explained what was going on. Some people had not heard of this. I explained how the observation of the transit was used as a parallax to compute the size of the sun, Earth’s distance from the sun and the scale of the inner solar system. The transit of Venus in 1769 was back then equivalent to the CMB anisotropy measurements or the goal of actually imaging the “blackness” of the galactic black hole.


  5. jgoddard says

    amazing, makes me look at the solar system with awe

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