Air mirage effects during transit of Venus

On June 06, 2012, the rare constellation of the planet Venus crossing through the solar disk could be observed from the day side of the earth.

When in Germany the sun rose, the Venus transit was already in its final stage. Where the sun passed through differently dense air layers during its rise, the mirage phenomenon was visible, i.e. the sun as well as Venus appeared distorted or as a combination of multiple images. These effects are due to the different bending of the light waves at air layers of varying density. Moreover, an incident ray of light will be reflected at the interface between cool and warm air. When there are more than one of these interfaces, multiple reflection might occur.

Rico Hickmann could even observe the Green Flash during the Venus transit from Dresden: “I was incredible lucky with respect to the weather. Yesterday evening, it was still very cloudy, and after the end of the transit there were again clouds filling the sky. Before sunrise, a light pillar could be seen, that served as a pointer towards the sun. The sunrise over Dresden was spectacular, Green Flashes and disconnected segments… I’m still speechless.” Here are some more incredible pictures from this series: 12345

Another spectacular image of a triple Venus was obtained by Frank Killich, who observed the Venus transit from the Wolfswarte in the Harz mountains (916 m / 0 °C). The image is a single frame from a HD video file.

Some more and equivalently wonderful observations were reported.  Alexander Haussmann made a Video showing a triple Venus, green segments and distorted Venus passing through different air layers that were responsible for the green segments some seconds before. Further examples of impressive green flashes are the pictures of Andreas Möller, taken in Zinnowitz (photo and and animation as gif or MP4 [better quality]) and Hermann Koberger from Fornach, Austria (123).

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Posted on June 8, 2012, in air mirages, astronomical phenomena, green flash and distortions of sun and moon, observations and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The apod from 8th june show a etruscian vase during the transit of Venus:
    http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120608.html

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