Timing Astronomical Events Using CHDK

Occultations and transits are the two events popular in amateur astronomy that would benefit from timed observations. While it is possible to observe such occurrences by timing the start and the end of the event using a simple stopwatch, a better and certainly more accurate alternative would be to use a camera with a timer to time such events.

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A timing observation for the 2012 Transit of Venus

Fortunately, a simple setup for timing occultations and transits may be assembled using a telescope, an external video recorder, and a “hacked” point-and-shoot camera using CHDK, a free software that can greatly enhance the capabilities of a number of Canon PowerShot cameras.

To learn more on how an ordinary camera may be used as a timing equipment, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Venus Transit 2012

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Venus Transit 2012 Timing and Imaging Group (UP Astronomical Society); from left: Anthony Urbano, Ezekiel Rodriguez, Beb Jansen Poricallan, Carlo Ray Selabao, Criselda Roque.

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.

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Second Contact occurred at around 6:30 am, as measured by our timing equipment. This measurement is consistent with the calculations of Mr. Bamm Gabriana. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano, Ezekiel Rodriguez, Beb Jansen Poricallan, Carlo Ray Selabao, Criselda Roque

For more images taken during the 2012 Venus Transit observation, click here.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Venus Transit of 2012 (June 6, 2012)

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.

Shown below is a brief summary of my observation as part of the Rekindling Venus public viewing and observation held in UP Diliman. The next Venus transit will occur on December 2117.

Organizers of the event pose for a group shot. Photo Credit: Angelie Alagao
Transit-in-progress approaching the final stages of the transit 11:28 am Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano

Read more.

Rekindling Venus (Venus Transit)

Do you have plans already for the Venus transit? Join us in a public-viewing event at the College of Science Amphitheater, University of the Philippines, Diliman.

Reposted from the event page:

What: Rekindling Venus (Venus Transit)
When: June 6, 2012
Where: College of Science Amphitheater, UP Diliman, Quezon City.

A collaboration of RTU Astrosoc, UP Astrosoc, and UPLB Astrosoc in partnership with the AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY, MANILA and DOST-PAGASA.

Transit begins at around 6 am.
Program starts at 7.30 am.

What to expect: exhibits, astronomy booths, lectures, telescope viewing, mobile planetarium (limited passes).

This event is FREE and is open to everyone. Don’t you dare miss this once in a lifetime event (next transit is on year 2117).

Be part of history!

*We would like to thank D’greatrovers for their mobile planetarium services.

Clear skies to all! Feel free to drop by and experience the rarest predictable astronomical event which occurs only 4 times every 234 years (no man alive has observed it more than twice!)!

Solar Observation (May 13, 2012)

Earlier today joined a solar observation with the University of the Philippines Astronomical Society (May 13, 2012) in preparation for the upcoming May 21, 2012 annular solar eclipse and the most awaited June 6, 2102 Venus transit.

Solar observation with the UP Astronomical Society on May 13, 2012.

Astronomical observations are geared towards sharing astronomy with the general public. It is free and is open to everyone! Take a look at our previous observations. You may join scheduled observations, or you may even request one for your school! Send me a note at eteny@nightskyinfocus.com.

To keep you posted on upcoming events, click here .

Related links:
Lunar Eclipse Observation featured on TV 5 (October 8, 2014)
Solar Eclipse Photo featured on PTV 4 (January 24, 2013)
Lunar Eclipse Photo featured on PTV 4 (January 23, 2013)
Solar Eclipse Observation featured on GMA 7 (May 21, 2012)
Lunar Eclipse Observation featured on ABS-CBN (June 16, 2011)

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Transit of Io

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When in opposition, the 4 bright Jovian satellites may cross the disc of its parent planet in an event called transit. The satellite (white dot) is usually followed by the shadow (black dot) it casts on Jupiter. In this photo, Io is already exiting, with its shadow still on the disc of the planet. Image taken with a Logitech 4000 web camera through prime focus imaging setup. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano. For more images of transits, click here.