The Venus Transit 2004

The Venus Transit 2004

European Science & Technology Week 2004 European Southern Observatory European Association for Astronomy Education Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Observatoire de Paris Institut de Mécanique Céleste et de Calcul des Éphémérides (IMCCE)
Last update: 2004 Jun 08 14:48 CEST
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VT-2004 No. of registered participants : 2108
No. of observers with timings : 259
No. of timings sent : 725
Official value of 1 AU : 149597870 km
Calculated AU : 149647674 km
Dispersion : ± 1956194 km
Absolute Difference : 49804 km
Difference as percentage: 0.033 %

.... more (with graphics).

Join the Observing        Campaign!

Map of Observers'        Locations

Dutch Open Telescope
June 8, 2004, 11:09 UT
Canary Island, Spain
Display Window 2 Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope
June 8, 2004, 11:15 UT
Canary Island, Spain
SST H alpha full disc image
Meudon Heliograph
June 8, 2004, 11:03 UT
Last Comment (June 8, 11:31 UT) : Fourth contact has happened - the transit is over! As Jeremiah Horrocks (1618-1641), the first observer of a Venus Transit, we can say "I then beheld a most agreeable spectacle, the object of my sanguine wishes, a spot of unusual magnitude and of perfectly circular shape".
And we can appreciate the small poem he wrote after witnessing this marvellous event:
 Oh! then farewell, thou beauteous queen! Thy sway may soften natures yet untamed, Whose breasts, bereft of the native fury, Then shall learn the milder virtues. We, with anxious mind, follow thy latest footsteps here, And far as thought can carry us; My labours now bedeck the monument for future times Which thou at parting left us. Thy return Posterity shall witness; years must roll away, But then at length the splendid sight Again shall greet our distant children's eyes.                    Jeremiah Horrocks (1618-1641) 

More timings are now coming in from the observers. Look at the results - surely this incredible agreement is a lucky coincidence (the dispersion is 2.5 million km).
On the picture in the middle from the Swedish Solar Telescope (Tenerife), there is a faint arc stretching upwards from the right edge of Venus' disc. This is very likely a refraction effect in Venus' atmosphere which is being illuminated from behind.
Venus, all unconscious of the honour of millions of people watching her, and the hard work put here in the VT-2004 "Control Center", moves onward to last contact. Will we be able, as Lomonosov did in 1761, to see the faint, luminous ring around Venus, i.e. its atmosphere? Four videos from the AGAPE group at ESO are now available - the entry of Venus onto the solar disc, the first part of the passage across the disc, the second part of the passage across the disc and the exit of Venus from the solar disc.
If you missed the beginning of the Venus transit, you may access all previous versions of this Central Display page in the Archive.
During the past 24 hours, the VT-2004 website has distributed 1.0 Terabyte; just now, there are about 1200 hits and 400 Mb are sent per second.
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