Capturing the 2012 Venus Transit from Southern California (Photos)

Venus at Second Contact

Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre

Venus exhibiting the so-called “black-drop” effect at second contact, when the planet’s silhouette was first fully within the sun’s disk. This took place at 3:24 p.m. local time on June 5, 2012, with the sun 55 degrees high in the sky. The viewing conditions were not steady that day in Hermosa Beach, Calif., with atmospheric turbulence affecting the quality of the images.

Sidewalk Astronomers

Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre

Sidewalk astronomers Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre had to set up their telescopes and camera gear on the side of a street in Hermosa Beach to take shelter from the strong wind blowing from the ocean.

Imelda’s white-light telescope

Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre

Imelda photographed the transit using a solar-filtered Takahashi FC-60 apochromatic refractor coupled to a Canon EOS 7D DSLR camera.

Edwin’s Hydrogen-Alpha Telescope

Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre

Edwin’s setup consisted of a tripod-mounted Coronado SolarMax II 60 double-stacked hydrogen-alpha telescope and a Canon EOS 20D DSLR camera.

Venus Mid-Transit

Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre

Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre recorded this view of the Venus transit’s halfway point from Hermosa Beach, Calif., at 6:26 p.m. local time on June 5, 2012, with the sun 18 degrees above the western horizon. They used a Canon EOS 7D digital SLR camera attached to a 60-millimeter Takahashi refractor fitted with a Thousand Oaks glass solar filter. Note the small sunspots visible on the solar disk

Impromptu Solar Star Party

Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre

Imelda conducts an impromptu lecture about the Venus transit for curious local residents and passersby, offering them views of the event through special solar glasses and the cameras’ viewfinders.

People Observing

Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre

People were thrilled to see Venus’s tiny silhouette as it slowly made its way across the sun on June 5, 2012. Many had heard about the event from the news but had no idea how impressive it would look.

People Observing

Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre

Hermosa Beach residents Jett Pink and Michele Alexander enjoy the transit using black polymer solar glasses. The couple let the authors set up their telescopes in front of their house.

Sunset Transit

Dena Sparks

Dena Sparks of Hermosa Beach, Calif., shot this scene of the sun and Venus setting behind the Malibu Mountains from Manhattan Beach on June 5, 2012. Sparks used a Canon EOS 7D DSLR camera and 70–200 mm telephoto lens with a 2x teleconverter.

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