By: Manuel Miguel Reina Viedma, Diego Manuel Carrasco Pinto (16 years), Jonathan Rodríguez Gómez (14 years), Jairo Infantes Andivia (14 years),

Collaborating:  Francisco Fernando Pérez García (14 years), Sara Manga Sánchez (16 years), Cristian Evangelista Rodríguez (16 years), Daniel González Rojo (16 years), María del Carmen Ferrer Robles (16 years),  Francisco José Chico Ponce (14 years), Ovidio Jesús Fernández Gómez (13 years), y Rocío Arroyo Cabrera (16 years).

School:   I. E. S. ESTUARIA, HUELVA. 21006




Tinto and Odiel rivers

Odiel & Tinto rivers junction

Tharsis Mine


Costa de la Luz is Light Coast in English. Huelva is our city, only 2500 metres from the Tinto river and straight in front of Palos de la Frontera, the port from which Cristóbal Colón sailed more than 500 hundred years ago … to go to America following the signs of starts and maps…

Yes, from that Tinto river named by the Romans of the Betica zone; the river which runs from mines of copper, silver and gold more than 2000 years ago… and its waters are red, red indeed like Mars.  Americans have gone to Mars with their spaceships and they are now in our river studying the extreme conditions which are so similar to that of Mars, cianobacterias... they don’t need oxygen....

Yes, we live in the estuary of the two old rivers of the old reign of Tharsis, more than 3000 years ago and both rivers meet each other in our city and we would like to believe the legend saying that it is named in the bible as the estuary from which one of the three wise men left for Galilea following a star-comet  2000 years ago.

Furthermore, we are just 25000 metres away from the place where the human being engraved in stone 44 holes in different size 4500 years ago in the site know as “Dolmen the Soto.” These holes were thought to be bowls on the walls but now it is suggested that their were a map of Stars where the constellations are described from Taurus to Canis Maior among others. ( And it is curious that the biggest and brightest star represented in the Dolmen and in the star map cannot be seen from this latitude so this human artist could have come from the north of Africa but not further)

We will always be grateful to Hugo Obermaier, that German who studied the Dolmen de Soto and to Eduardo Fuentesal, the spanish amateur astronomer  who studied the holes in the stone with the number 31 of the Dolmen....  As the Disc of Nebra is considered the most ancient representation of the sky in the world but, we are sorry for the Germans and their  Pleiades of Egyptian symbology copying that disc, but the Dolmen de Soto is the oldest one and Orion’s constellation is realistically drawn in stone and it is the nicest apart from the shine in relation to the diameters of the holes.

As you can see in our long history we have always looked at the sky, but more than 250 years ago we stopped doing it and ignored the French-Spanish expedition in California whose men sacrificed their lives to bring the results of their observation of Venus transit but their results were not sufficiently valued to improve the tables of triangulation estimates for sea navigation. The English admiralship did that but the Spanish were done in Trafalgar …. A battle which took place in the Light Coast a few years after the transit of 1769 … less that 250000 meters from here.                                                    References Catch a Transit


We have looked at the sky and we stopped doing it. We have lived in empires and we haven’t been free… we have been wise and we have been ignorant….and if we don’t  look at the sky again we will forget….. that we have learnt that we come from different corners of the globe, that whoever kills or dies for ideas or empires it’s not free and that if we don’t look at the sky we won’t see ourselves as we are. And this year 2004 in the new everybody’s sea which is the sky, in the new Light Coast which is the sun of the Light Coast and now that the lyrics of our hymn says:….”Andalucians …. Free.. for Spain and for humanity”…it is now when the word ‘humanity’ gets its meaning collaborating hand with hand in our planet; it doesn’t matter who provides more or less, it matters to beat the ignorance of those who forget to look at the sky to see that you and I are the same blue spot and that if not we collaborate with each other we could be like that black spot which is Venus, full of unbreathable gasses and which creates a perfect greenhouse effect which would evaporate all the seas in the Earth. It doesn’t matter if your coast or mine is nicer since all of them have the sun and they could be called like ours:

 LIGHT COAST  or Costa de la Luz but the meaning is the same and it’s the same world for all of us and the same sky as well.

And now June 2004 :

The I. E. S.  Estuaria together with the A.C.O.A.A., Cultural Association Onubense of Astronomy "Andromeda", they arranged a whole set of devices early in the morning of the 8 th of June 2004, (some of us were there since 4 in the morning) .   Thanks to these devices and three telescopes , w e were able to observe, to film and to participate in the observation of the Venus transit This activity was previously recorded in the School's Educational Project and it was also promoted by various departments: Social Sciences , Technology, Physic s and Mathematic s .  We use d special glasses made by students of 4 th year of ESO within the subject of scientific method s . We also used two refractor telescopes brought by students , one for direct vision with filter and another for projection .   Furthermore, we used another telescope motorized S/C of 250 mm of diameter with two chambers of guided video and a CCD of image c apture with direct focus . The telescope was taken care of by the students themselves and the assigned professor. Together they formed six teams to collect data of the times of contact. We collected data of four of the teams .   T he team which collected the time of contact with the eyeglasses was not capable to determine the moments of contact and th e projection team had problems with the bar that holds the projection in the most critical moments.  This time the law of Murphy, (a s it happened   last year with Mercury when we record ed it despite the bad weather on May 7), returned to play a passed evil when the chamber with direct focus dilated to 42º C in the sun , and with the emotion to see the images in the chambers of video, we were not able to realise that the images were distorted, images which our dear Diego used as conductive of the motors of the telescope.  But in the end a few things came out well. We do not we have pretty photos but in the double images is clearly illustrated the moments of the contacts III and IV.  The sincroniza t i o n of universal time was done through the I nternet using the programs of atomic clocks, STOPER selecting the observatory of Paris, and c hecking time every 30 minutes with time exposed on the videos, noting the deviations that never surpassed  2 seconds.  The four teams that were successful sent their data to ESO , European Southern Observatory to VT-2004 p rograme , the be st results we re those of Diego with the CCD LPI and those of Frank with their refractor to vision with filter.  The transit concluded at 13.30 o'clock approximately. 

                                         Venus Transit -2004

                                                 IES Estuaria

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Progress work


             PREPARATION (Teams)

OBSERVATION I.  from 4:00 to 7:00   (Setting up,  lining up and focusing)

OBSERVATION II. from 7:00 to 9:30   (Aiming at the sun and first contacts)

OBSERVATION III. from 9:30 to 12:00   (Waiting for the last contact)

  OBSERVATION IV. from 12:00 to 14:30   (Last contact  and gathering everything together)



 The work was finished in june 2004 and it was translated into English in december 2004.

Photo:        Vídeo B/N.     TEAM: ESTUARIA1

-. Clic on the next pictures  for the bigger picture. -

COMMENTS ON THE RESULTS :   We proved that using the same method, the highest focal of 2500mm of the GPS telescope from Estuaria team 5, the results were better. This can be easily observed in C3. We think that the other two teams with a smaller focal mixed up the effects of a water drop with the contact  It was a pity that heat dilated the LPI prism and that the images would turned out doubled in the takes but we send you an image of the LPI contact III.

.    Picture  taken by Estuaria team 3 and water drop 11:01:34 TU.

CONCLUSIONS: Error was increasing in all teams from C1 to C4 and some people think that it can be due to the geometry formed by the sun position; firstly it was coincident with our position in its rising just a few minutes before the first two contacts and with contact III and IV with the sun going high up.  Other people think that it is due to the methodology since there was a wide range of temperatures from daybreak to midday nobody thought about readjusting the focus in all the optical equipment. A proof of this is the data gathered by LPI. Nevertheless, Estuaria team 2, with a focal two and half bigger, refined more than C2, but we have to bear in mind that Diego and Ovidio, from team 5 confirmed this measure visually (because of a lost during recording), directly on the laptop screen which controlled LPI and the program STOPER. They didn’t do this on the recorded files (so we have a reaction error, but their annotation is earlier than Frank’s form team 2). There wasn’t any stretching yet in the optical equipment and there was a good contrast in the laptop screen because the sun was still low.  In all the contacts, the team which has more time has a lower error.  And all the teams which worked had a value of the earth.-sun distance higher. Only Estuaria5 went the other way in the C3, so we want to deduce  that the other teams have insufficient magnification for the determination because all the deviations went on the same direction and they are not clear. (The teacher says that they are cut by the method and only Estuaria team 5 gives dispersion values closer to the real one)

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Picture Gallery

  - Click on the image to enlarge them -

(Venus atmosfere) 

(Venus ground)

(Star map in Stone

Dolmen de Soto 4500 B.C)

(Nebra Disk)

Eclipse in the Alps

  Venus transit

Saturn hiding




Lining up


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Instituto de Educación Secundaria ESTUARIA web page (Huelva)


Weather Satellite Images and Movie

 European Southern Observatory

  PLANETARIO de Pamplona now

Welcome to the VT-2004 Observation Campaign Interface ( now



Tribuna de ASTRONOMÍA, Nº 57, Nº 58 y Nº 59. El tránsito de Venus. Una oportunidad única después de 122 años. Expediciones científicas españolas para la observación de los tránsitos de Venus. AGENDA

Sky & Telescope May 2004. Photographing the Transit of Venus. Here`s how to bring home souvenir portraits of his first-in a lifetime event. By Edwin L. Aguirre.

Sky & Telescope April 2004. Processing Webcam Images with RegiStax. A powerful free program developed by Dutch amateur astronomer unlocks hidden details in planetary images.By Cor Berrovoets.

   Investigación y    Ciencia nº 335 Agosto 2004: - El disco celeste de Nebra. Harald Meller. Pags: 70-75 & - El disco de Nebra: ¿un calendario agrícola?. Wolfhard Schlosser.    

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