The Venus Transit of 2012 is considered as the rarest predictable astronomical event. It is so rare that one person can only observe it for a maximum of 2 times in his or her lifetime. It occurs when the Sun, the planet Venus, and the Earth are in perfect alignment with each other. As viewed from the Earth, Venus appears as a black dot moving across the disc of the Sun.
Related link: Asteroid 2012DA14 Captured from Quezon City
First of all, I would like to greet everyone ‘Happy 2013 National Astronomy Week’! Night Sky in Focus was launched 2 years ago, during the country’s national astronomy week celebration.Today marks the 2nd year anniversary of Night Sky in Focus, a web site dedicated primarily to astrophotography, do-it-yourself astronomy, visual observation, and equipment modification. Night Sky in Focus means two things: (1) ‘ focusing our attention to the night sky’, and in a more literal sense in astrophotography, (2) ‘focusing, on the camera’s viewfinder, the astronomical objects’ in the night sky. For more information about this web site, click here.
Images of the asteroid 2012 DA14 during its closest approach earlier today, captured from Quezon City, Philippines, taken with a Canon 450D DSLR, 50 mm f/1.8 lens (set to f/1.8), ISO 1600, 5 seconds exposure.
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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)
Great news for fellow Philippine-based observers and amateur astronomers! The Asteroid 2012 DA14, the biggest space object to get so close to the Earth since regular sky surveys began in 1990′s, will be visible from our location on its closest approach to Earth on February 16, 2013, around 3 am local time.
Only a pair of binoculars is needed to see the asteroid. During its closest approach, it will peak at magnitude 7.5 (just beyond naked-eye visibility), moving at a rate of 0.8 degrees for every 45 seconds; in context, our moon’s angular diameter is just 0.5 degrees!
DSLR owners might also want to try to image the passage of the asteroid. A 50 mm f1.8 lens mounted on any DSLR should be powerful enough to capture it. Mount the camera onto a tripod, set the ISO to maximum (e.g. 1600), set the aperture to widest (e.g. f/1.8), focus the camera manually to infinity, set the exposure to about 3 to 6 seconds (adjust exposure as necessary), use remote shutter or the time-delay function, point the camera at the asteroid’s predicted location (refer to star chart above), then press the shutter when ready. Take photos one minute apart. Background stars will remain stationary, but the asteroid will appear as a rapidly-moving dot heading towards north.You can actually compile images and do a time lapse :)
If weather permits, I will attempt to photograph 2012 DA14 through my telescope. Follow this blog to keep you posted, or leave a note to join me in my observation. Clear skies!
For previous observations, click here.