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Transit of Venus

The transit was well-observed from many stations throughout Southern Africa.

Reports with images have been received from:

1. Wellington

2. Pietermaritzburg

3. Touws River

4. Bloemfontein

5. Harare

6. Cape Town

Shorter reports have come in from other centres and are given below (most images can be clicked for a higher-resolution version):



(above) Third contact, photographed by Erich Schiemann with a 12-inch Newtonian from Touwsriver.


Cape Town - Iziko Museum & Planetarium

Prof Tony Fairall reports: "A few hundred school kids and members of the public viewed the transit outside the planetarium in Cape Town. We also got good media coverage - ETV News and a photograph on the front page of the Cape Times."


From a cloudy George, Jan Hers, Albert Jansen (Prince Albert Observatory) & Hans Daehne joined forces and managed to get some clear views of the transit. For Jansen, who is currently recovering from an illness, it was a particularly special day since he also received the first copy his new book "Star Maps for Southern Africa" from the publishers.



The Pretoria Centre webcast the event from the grounds of the University of Pretoria. Maurtiz Geyser has archived the images (see example on the right) at

Reports of the event can be found at []




Cape Town

Chris Forder, ATM guru, set up outside the SAAO Meeting Room in Observatory, Cape Town.

He attached a webcam to a 200mm telephoto lens, piggybacked on a C8 for guiding.

The image to the right is a composite of the first, middle & last images he captured, from 10:20 to 13:30.




Port Elizabeth

Dr Francois du Toit's e-mail describes his battle with rain and cloud:

"Started on beach front at sunrise ---- 10 minutes and RAIN !! Back  home ---- wait for Sun to rise above neighbour's home ------ 15 minutes opportunity and then washed out ----- rain for rest of day. Got into the car and drove North ----- 40 km beyond Uitenhage ------- half hour of no clouds and then CLOUDS !!!

This was my  story of the "Transit" ---- but the glimpses we had were beautiful - specially through the ProOptic Maksutov with full aperture solar filter. Back home there was a moment of opportunity just after one - I pointed the videocamera and voila!! - the cherry on the top (or is that bottom?) - I captured the egress.



Bakubung Lodge, Pilanesberg

Dr Barbara Cunow of UNISA observed the transit from Bakubung Lodge in the Pilanesberg, where she was attending the galaxy morphology conference organized by Prof David Block).

She used her 6-inch Newtonian reflector to project an image onto a screen; the photographs on the right were taken at 09:56 SAST, 13:01 and 13:10 (top to bottom).




Willie Koorts has pointed out a few amazing transit of Venus images he came across.

For two images that would have been entirely impossible to take in 1882, check out:

For an animation and further details about the latter image, go to



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(c) ASSA 2003, 2004  • updated 2004 september 20