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James Adamson Astrophotography

Venus Transit 8th June 2004


James Adamson
Ballina County Mayo
Photo Title
Venus Transit
Time and Date taken
1149hrs BST and 1204hrs BST 8th June 2004
Equipment used
Televue 85, EQ5 mount, 8mm radian eyepiece, JMI class A solar filter
Capturing device used
nikon coolpix4300
Technical details

single shot colour, ISO 200, 1/30 sec at f2.9, adjusted in registax

single shot colour, ISO 200, 1/30 sec at f3.4, adjusted in registax

It was cloudy all morning and I only got to observe the last 45 minutes of the transit through broken cloud. Venus looked spectacular against the sun's disk!

I managed to capture a few frames at third contact with my nikon camera, this image turned out the best, shortly after it clouded up and I didn't get to see fourth contact.

Great work James. In the image above you can see the only 2 sunspots on the solar disk, Venus is slightly past 3rd contact as you can just see a ring of light around the SE side which shows the diffraction of light through Venus's atmosphere. Also notice the faculae at the top right of the image. An excellent result.

I successfully located Venus in broad daylight at 6.30pm on may 25th using the Televue 85mm refractor, I used 200 times magnification with a polarising filter and 80A eyepiece filter fitted. I also took some images with Nikon Coolpix 4300 fitted to the eyepiece as well. This image was the best of the bunch, it's is a single shot colour image with only a slight adjustment using Registax. The camera setting was 1/15sec, f/3.4, ISO200, time: 19.08BST.

Looking forward to the transit on June 8th!


Venus captured 25th April at 2010hrsGMT. I used the C8 with coolpix4300 coupled afocally to an 8mm radian ep. Exposure was 1/15 sec at f/4.0, ISO200 setting. A polarizer and 80A eyepiece filter were used, image was taken in black and white setting. Slight adjustment to contrast was done using registax software.

Venus is very spectacular right now! For visual observing in strong twilight and near dark, I find best results using the polarizer and 80A eyepiece filter together at 250x with the C8.



I took another image of Venus as the phase is a waning cresent, taken on 2021/04/10 20.30UT. Seeing conditions were very good and I  managed to catch a nice crescent in this single shot in b&w.  I used my C8 @250x with coolpix4300 attached,  1/15 sec, ISO200, f/4.5.  Only slight adjustments to contrast were made using Registax.



James Adamson with his scopes

Here is a picture of me with my observing equipment, TV85 and 10" f/4.8 dobson. I took this image just after dark. (Thanks, James. It's good to have a face for our associate members :-)

The  one below is of my C8 and nikon coolpix4300 camera attached, the same setup I used for the venus images.  Included in the picture is the 10" dobson as well.

James' C8 and Dobson

My latest image of Venus was taken this afternoon, 6th April 2004, in twilight at 20.10UT. This one is so far my best result! I used the same setup again to take this latest image. The planets phase is about 48% sunlit at this stage, due to the Schroter's effect it can be somewhat misleading for the observer at the planet's greatest elongation.

The phase anomaly first reported by Schroter 200 years ago has been directly recorded on CCD imagery. The image shows that the apparent illumination of Venus is about 2% less than predicted by the geometry of the Sun and Earth when Venus is about half illuminated. A computer model was created to test the hypothesis that Schroter's effect is due to scattering of sunlight in Venus' twilight atmosphere. The model is based on scattering from an optically thin atmosphere having a scale height of about 4 to 5 km. The computer model successfully reproduces the observed phase anomaly. In such an atmosphere the poles are brighter than the equator along the terminator. This is due to the greater optical depth for a view passing tangentially through the atmosphere at the poles versus obliquely at the equator. The result is an appearance that is slightly more crescent shaped than the prediction for geometrical factors alone.

I'm very pleased with this image, it shows the disk very well.  I'm hoping to try later on in the month when venus will be a wide crescent.

I had a go at imaging venus and M45 earlier just after dark at about 9pm on 3rd April. Taken with a Televue 85mm APO refractor at 20x with the coolpix4300 attached to the eyepiece. exposure was 15 seconds unguided at f2.8, iso 200, and taken in b&w. time was 21.10UT.

In strong twilight this evening, 17th March, I setup my C8 OTA and mount and I got some good views of venus at 250x . It's disk is near 50% though at one point I could see a hint of detail but can't be sure if it was my eyes playing tricks on me:-)  The seeing conditions were not to bad, even though there was a slight breeze at times.

I  managed to capture the Venus disk in this single shot image in black & white.  I used a polarizer filter on the eyepiece to reduce the planets glare. f/3.4 ,1/30sec, ISO 200 with the Nikon Coolpix 4300. Time: 19.12UT.

James Adamson took up the challenge in the previous e-mail sent out through the mailing list and imaged Mare Crisium on the Moon. I think you will agree when I say that he has taken an excellent full disk image.

Sunspots 484, 486, and 488

Here's the latest image i took of our good old friends 484, 486, and 488! These guys have been causing the magnificent aurora of the past few weeks.

Aurora taken from County Mayo

I have enclosed an image of last night's aurora for you. I took a good few images but this one came out the best of them. It was taken at 7.10 UT. 38 seconds at f/2.8 the camera was pointed NNW.

Below is an image I took of the overhead red corona this evening at 18.22UT from my home, I coupled my nikon coolpix4300 digital camera to a tripod with a wide angle lens attached, camera was set at ISO400. Exposure was 35 seconds at f/2.8

The right image is a view from my front garden taken with the same setup. Time was 18.25UT Exposure was 33 seconds. Note my house to the lower right is an alumnus green from the aurora.

This aurora was very bright. Best display I have ever seen under clear skies.


Lunar Eclipse of 9th November captured

I managed to capture a few images of the lunar eclipse near totality. This image was taken at 00.53am. Shortly after I took this, it clouded over and sadly I didn't get to see the mid eclipse.

I used my nikon coolpix 4300 digital camera and televue85 refractor for the imaging. The camera was coupled to a 27mm panoptic eyepiece. It was set at ISO100, a 2 second exposure at f3.2.

Aurora from County Mayo

Sun Disc from 28th October 2003

I took images of the sunspot groups today 28th October 2003, at 14:48:12. I used the same setup as before with the televue85 refractor and nikon coolpix4300 digital camera. Shutter speed was 1/1000 second at f2.8. The image was then processed in registax.

Weather has been cloudy the past few days here, but I took advantage of a brief clear spell this afternoon to observe and record the sun's disk and it was well worth it! The sunspot activity looks spectacular at the moment!

Sunspot group 484

When I saw your email about the large sunspot group 484, I checked out the spaceweather.com website to read up on it. This morning I setup my scope and mount early while it was still cold after a nights frost. I got a beautiful view of the sunspot group with the televue85, and an 8mm radian eyepiece. I coupled my nikon coolpix 4300 digital camera to the eyepiece for this image. I took a 1/250 of a second exposure. Aperture was f/2.8, focal length of the lens was at 8mm. The time was 10.55am.

I then adjusted the image using Registax software. At the moment I'm still only learning to use this software, but getting there. It brought out far more detail compared to the raw image. I am very pleased with my results so far.


If you have have any photos or video of the comet please get in touch using the e-mail below:

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