Ranallo captures transit of Venus

Associate Professor Frank Ranallo managed to capture some stunning images of the recent transit of Venus. In his words:

"These pictures were a spur of the moment attempt with a new camera. At 5:30 pm someone at work reminded me of the Venus transit, so I grabbed a sheet of fully exposed and developed x-ray film that was lying in my office and quickly went home. There I got my camera and waited in Rennebohm Park on the west side of Madison until the clouds finally cleared at 7:45pm. When I held the dark x-ray film in front of my eyes, I could clearly see the dark dot of Venus against the ruddy disk of the sun. I simply held the camera and pointed it at the sun while holding the film in front of the lens to take the pictures. The film is not an optical quality filter, but the pictures did not seem to mind. Fully exposed and developed x-ray film is very dark and only lets about 1/5,000 of the light through. So as long as I was careful to always keep it in front of my eyes and in front of the camera when either was looking at the sun, both were protected."

Click the images below for full-resolution versions.

Venus transit
Venus transit