Observations by SPACE in INDIA


You can join hands with SPACE to be a part of a worldwide science experiment.

This experiment was first done in the 17th Century by Sir Edmund Halley and repeated several times
later. The Huddle version of this experiment as proposed by James R. Huddle and Elise Albert, USNA,
Maryland, USA affords much more flexibility in photography as well as deals with issues like missed
contacts as in the case of India, and the blackdrop effect.
This time, using the most basic modern technology you can join hands with US Naval Academy, USA (USNO) , SPACE and thousands of participants around the world to calculate the most important measuring unit for astronomers, The Astronomical Unit – 1 A.U. ( the distance between Sun and Earth). A series of observations of the position of Venus in transit as seen from different locations will allow the calculation of 1 A.U. All observations will be reported to James Huddle for this calculation.

A very simple technique is used to do this experiment.

All you have to do is :

1. Take pictures of the Sun during the transit at 15 minute intervals (Minimum of 2 photos). You can even use a simple point and shoot camera like a digital camera with the lens covered with solar filter.
2. Find out your latitude and longitude from where you are doing the photography
3.Note the time of photography for each photo taken
4. Send the information (Time, Latitude and Longitude) and pictures to info@space-india.org

How to Photograph the Transit of Venus

The Transit of Venus can be photographed in various ways. Please read the manuals provided with any equipment you are using. NEVER look at the Sun through any optical device without using the solar filters. Please practice for 2-3 days in advance so as to overcome any problem. Some of the methods listed below can be followed for a good photograph of the Transit of Venus :

Method 1 : This is the simplest method using which you can capture the Transit of Venus, even if you don’t have a big telescope and fancy professional cameras. All you want is a simple “Digital Point and Shoot Camera” which has at least 10 MP of sensor and about 10X optical Zoom. The equipment you need is :

a. One Digital Point and Shoot Camera.
b. One tripod
c. Solar Filter for the lens of the camera

Procedure : Mount the camera on the tripod and place the tripod on the ground. Make sure you have not opened the legs of the tripod and it is close to the ground. This way you can reduce the vibrations in the photograph. Turn ON the camera, place the solar filter on the camera in such a way that it should not come off on its own. Then point it towards the Sun and ZOOM-IN the maximum so that you can see the entire disk of the Sun in the field. Now press the shutter button (the button you press to click the picture) half way so that the camera can adjust the focus. Now click the image from the camera and if possible review the image on a computer for focusing and sharpness.

Method 2 : If you have a small telescope and a Digital Point and Shoot Camera then you can use the method of photography called as Afocal photography.

“Afocal photography, also called afocal imaging or afocal projection is a method of photography where the camera with its lens attached is mounted over the eyepiece of another image forming system such as a optical telescope or optical microscope, with the camera lens taking the place of the human eye”

The equipment list for this method is :

a. One Digital Point and Shoot Camera.
b. One Telescope
c. Solar Filter for the telescope

Procedure : Set the tripod for observation and mount the solar filter on the telescope. Point it towards the Sun, look at the Sun through the eyepiece and focus the image. Take the Digital Point and Shoot Camera and place it in front of the eyepiece and hold it in such a way that the camera can see the object through the eyepiece of the telescope. Make sure to look at the Sun through the view finder so that you can have the complete disk of the Sun in the picture and also you l press the shutter button half way to check the focus of the camera. Once you are satisfied with the focus and framing of the camera, you can take pictures. Please look at the image on a computer screen for better review.

Method 3 : This is for semi professional astrophotographer who owns the equipments for astrophotography. From your kitty, all you need is :

a. One telescope
b. DSLR Camera
c. Solar Filter
d. Computer (Optional)
e. USB cable/ Remote control for remote shooting
f. T-Ring Adapter
g. T-Ring Mount

Procedure : Mount you telescope and in case of a Go-To telescope, please align it for proper tracking of the Sun through the telescope. Remove the lens from the camera and put the T-ring mount and Universal adapter for the brand of camera you are using. Mount it on the telescope by replacing the eyepiece with it. Connect your camera with the remote control/USB cable and connect it with the computer for remote shooting. Place the solar filter and point it towards the Sun for observation. Take some test exposures for focusing and also check the correct exposure for the pictures.

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