06/2004 Venus Transit PDF Print E-mail

Public Observing of the Venus transit on 8th June

The EAAS were at the Seven Towers roundabout, Ballymena, County Antrim for the entire Venus transit which began at 0519GMT through to 1124GMT. In the first 2 hours, we had a surprising number of visitors and many going to work, stopping by and having a look. The first early birds arrived at 6:45am !!!

6am and the scopes are setupEarly birds at 0645hrs7am is dog walking time

The SolarScope is now part of the EAAS solar observing equipment and a very valuable asset for transits and solar eclipses.

Youngest member and astrophotographer, Christopher GaultRalph Gault and Mark Stronge

Resident astrophotographer, Mark Stronge with his 10" Meade LX200. In the far right photo, our youngest member Christopher Gault is setting up his telescope which he used to capture an excellent sunspot image recently.

Mark Stronge with his 10inch LX200Mark explaining some hints and tips for astrophotographyChristopher Gault getting ready for the transit

Many crowds of people came throughout the day to catch a glimpse of the transit. In the far right photo, Aaron Hunter, new member to the EAAS and also the only person to capture any image of the transit.

New member, Aaron Hunter and girlfriend

From the oldest to the youngest, we all took note of this planetary alignment and felt quite privileged to observe it as it happened.

Florence PowerWoman with her grandson

A family from County Kildare joined us for the excitment of the chase.

Mr & Mrs Dan Boland & Son from Co.Kildare


The weather for 1st and 2nd contact was variable and we managed to see a half disk before the clouds thickened again. During the transit, Venus was visible in many short bursts and there was frantic shouts and exclamations of success in viewing this rare astronomical event before the clouds rolled in again. The public and EAAS members were out in force of which all got to see the transit live and also via a webcast from Norway. The webcast from Ballymena was dissappointing as the short bursts of clear seeing did not give enough time for any photographs to be captured or broadcast. One photo was captured mid transit by Aaron Hunter, one of our new members, and it is pictured below.

Les Gornall observed the transit from the Republic of Georgia, Click Here to read his report.
Philip Matchett observed the Venus transit from Stonehenge, Click Here to read his report.

Thanks go out to the 5,000 people who visited the website on 8th June (nearly 7000 page views) looking for a live webcast of the Venus transit. I hope you clicked through from our link to the Norwegian webcasts which had 95% success. This sheer number of people on the website in only a few hours is quite astonishing and trumps our previous busiest day from the Lunar Eclipse last November. Thankyou for visiting and I hope you will be back soon.


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