2012 Transit of Venus
With the 2012 transit of Venus over, a vast collection of images are available on the internet. This page offers a representative sampling of images, videos, observer reports, science findings, new papers, and other odds and ends, several of which are my own. It is admittedly incomplete as I wind down my transit of Venus outreach and website maintenance. Thanks for having followed. - Chuck B.
NASA | SDO's Ultra-high Definition View of 2012 Venus Transit; stunning video from Solar Dynamics Observatory on YouTube.
Paper: A Community Celebrates the Transit of Venus; summary of extensive transit of Venus outreach by Michiana educators, businesses, volunteers, and amateur astronomers. Text outlines prezi images at http://prezi.com/3tgyibho9g-w/transit-of-venus-across-the-sun/, and was presented at 2012 GLPA Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. An audio file of the talk summarizing the highlights is at www.transitofvenus.org/docs/2012GLPA-Pittsburgh2.mp3.
Prezi: Transit of Venus Across the Sun. An image-intensive prezi captures the multiple events that occurred before and during the 2012 transit of Venus in northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan, also known as Michiana. Among the diverse components were a planetarium program, a treasure hunt, a lecture series, a symphony performance, a newsletter, a motor coach tour, original videos, art exhibits, historical displays, public outreach events, Sun Funnel workshops, social media initiatives, related products by small businesses, multiple observing opportunities, and a time capsule.
Poster: Transit of Venus Time Keg; shown at 2012 GLPA Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, PA.
Blog: Viewing Great, Timing Difficult; summary of events from the big day, June 5, 2012. Clear skies allowed viewing, but timing the moment of internal contact was difficult to do.
After the transit of Venus, political candidates from the 2012 election year were invited to share their visions of the future--not of four years, but 104 years, when the next transit of Venus will occur. What is the role of observational science such as the transit of Venus in our country's well-being?
Italian astronomers measured the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect during the 2012 transit of Venus, when the sun's spectral lines are distorted slightly. The experiment is a precursor to having a 40 meter scope with spectrograph studying the orbital properties of Earth-like exoplanets; Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, December 11, 2012. Courtesy of Paolo Molaro.
Venus transit, aureole and solar diameter, by Wenbin Xie, Costantino Sigismondi, Xiaofan Wang, and Paolo Tanga. "To measure the solar diameter using the transits...compare the ephemerides of the internal contact timings with the observed timings. The transits of Venus of 2004 and 2012 gave the possibility to apply this method, involving a planet with atmosphere, with the refraction of solar light through it creating a luminous arc all around the disk of the planet. The observations of the 2012 transit made to measure the solar diameter participate to the project Venus Twilight Experiment to study the aureole appearing around it near the ingress/egress phases."
Venus Twilight Experiment coronagraph on Haleakala
Venus Still Beguiles, by Dava Sobel. Writing of her 2012 experience, "Once seen as the Holy Grail of the heroic age of astronomy, this year's transit of Venus was the most democratic ever." From Aeon Magazine.
A slide from the Sun-Earth Day team at NASA Goddard Research Center suggests the 2012 transit of Venus was the "Largest NASA Event Ever...All NASA Internet Stats--Broken."
Venustransit 2012, Parallaxenmessung mit Hilfe der Sonnengranulation; Measuring the astronomical unit by combining images of the 2012 transit of Venus from Norway and Australia.
Maximilianus Hell (1720-1792) and the Eighteenth-Century Transits of Venus. A Study of Jesuit Science in Nordic and Central European Contexts, Per Pippin Aspaas University of Tromsø, 2012. New thesis about Father Hell and transits of Venus.
Lomonosov, the Discovery of Venus's Atmosphere, and Eighteenth Century Transits of Venus, by Jay M. Pasachoff and William Sheehan; Paper suggests Lomonosov, to whom the discovery of Venus' atmosphere has been historically attributed, had a "preconceived bias for believing that the other planets must have atmospheres." Therefore, several other observers "should receive credit for first detecting the aureole due to refraction of sunlight by the atmosphere of Venus during a transit." From Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, 15(1), 3-14 (2012).
The Hetu'u Global Network: Measuring the Distance to the Sun Using the June 5th/6th Transit of Venus, by Jacqueline K. Faherty, David R. Rodriguez, Scott T. Miller. Rodriguez writes, "Team Hetu'u presents the result of our outreach collaboration to bring together students from across the world, watch the transit of Venus, and measure the distance to the Sun. Our best estimate of the distance: 152+/-30 million km; not very precise, but the goal was the outreach."
At its 2012 meeting in Beijing, the IAU redefined the Astronomical Unit to 149,597,870,700 metres. The previous definition accounted for solar mass, but that's always changing, so new value locks in distance.
Results from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, which notes, "Maritime Canada was plagued by clouds and a number of our Maritime members travelled west to observe the transit."
Sternkieker magazine special edition offers 46 pages of images from 2012 transit of Venus.
A documentary by Nebeto, dedicated to the Transit of Venus 2012; clouds challenge observers.
Observer John Sussenbach reports on his personal expedition to Turkey.
Members of the Transit of Venus Group on Facebook share images and stories.