| Pic du Midi Observatory |
June 8, 2004, 06:55 UT
| Venus Transit - 1st and 2nd contacts |
3-inch refractor + Sony DSC-F717 June 8, 2004
Ottobrunn near Munich, Germany
| Swedish Solar 1-m Telescope |
The bright feature on Venus is an optical artefact
La Palma, Spain
June 8, 2004, 07:09 UT
| Latest Comment (June 8, 07:30 UT) : The visual light one sees from the Sun comes from a thin layer that is called the photosphere. This is where you see the sunspots and this layer is only about 300 km thick. |
Look at the first video from the entry of Venus onto the solar disc - it was obtained by the AGAPE observers at ESO HQ in Garching (Germany). We are getting more and more data for the continuous calculation of the distance from the Earth to the Sun, based on timing data from VT-2004 observers deposited at the central VT-2004 computer. Form the display above (which is updted all the time, they are clearly doing very well - we are only about 2% off! This means that we are nearly as good as the professional observers in the 19th century. Moreover, now we get this result in real time - thanks to modern communication technology - whereas they had to wait several months in those days...
A lot of articles about the transit are appearing on the web - there are now about 1200 on the Google News. The VT-2004 website is still experiencing about 1500 hits per second (90,000 per minute) - and the data volume has now reached 540 Mbits/sec.