About the Banner Picture

My current banner picture is a photo of the recent transit of Venus. I took this while I was visiting Beijing on a business trip. I carefully created solar filters for my binoculars and camera lenses and took these along so I would be ready. I arrived the evening before the transit and selected a position near the hotel with a nice low horizon, since the transit would happen early the next morning and I would try to get some shots before I went into the office.

When the time was approaching, I found that I could barely see the sun through the clouds and haze in the eastern sky. Although I could see the sun OK with my naked eyes, it was so dim that I couldn’t find it at all through the solar filters. Eventually, I decided that I would stop the camera down and try it without using the filters. This proved to work pretty well, and I was able to get several photos of the transit using only the hazy, polluted Beijing air as a filter. My banner picture is one of the better shots. You can see the Venus clearly enough, The texture of the clouds is also faintly visible at the edges of the sun image.

You can see the rest of my Venus transit photos in my Flickr sethere:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mike_knewtson/sets/72157630003488557/