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    Posted December 18, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    What was your best moment of 2012?

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    My best moment 2012 - with Venus


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Gaustatroll shot this image of Venus (visible on the top right of the picture) passing in front of the sun in June this year from a well staked out perch at Mt. Gaustatoppen, near the city of Rjukan, Norway.

    A keen photographer and astronomer, he took around a week to prepare for the event. He even had to make a last ditch change of plans to account for unexpected cloudy weather, changing location to ensure the best possible view for the celestail event.

    As can be seen from the spectacular end result, the planning was "obviously a success," he said
    - eoghan, CNN iReport producer

    As a hobby astronomer and photographer, I looked forward to the Venus Transit on Wednesday, 06.06.2012 with great excitement. The night before I studied the weather map, to see where in my region the early morning sky would be without clouds. I decided on a spot approx. 3.600 ft over the sea level, called "Killingskaret", with a superb view to the east. It was an 18 miles drive from my home to the spot, but when I arrived at approx. 03:00 AM, a wide band of dark clouds covered the eastern horizon – moving slowly to the west. After a zip of coffee I turned around and drove west - to my other, often used observation point, near Mt. Gaustatoppen. From South-Central Norway, I would only be able to observe the last 2 hours or so, of the transit, so I had to hurry.


    At Mt. Gaustatoppen (near the city of Rjukan), no clouds where visible in the horizon, and I mounted my camera gear as fast as I could. As I sat down in my chair and looked east, the first rays of sunlight came over the ridge in the horizon. At 04:46 AM I got the first photo of the sun – incl. a small, dark dot, slightly to the right of the centre of the solar disk.


    Finally, at 06:44 in the morning, Venus was at the north-western limb of the sun - and I was able to make this exciting shot of the "The black drop effect". (It's an optical effect caused by the smearing of the image of Venus by turbulence in the Earth's atmosphere or imperfections in the viewing apparatus). It was indeed my best Astro- and Photo-moment of 2012.


    Canon EOS 5D Mk 2
    Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM + 2 X Converter
    Canon Remote switch
    NDX filter (2-1000)

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