2004 Transit of Venus

Thessaloniki, Greece •June 8, 2004

Picture032The 2004 transit of Venus, image credit: Jay M. Pasachoff, David Butts, Joseph Gangestad, and Owen Westbrook (Williams College Transit of Venus Team) with John Seiradakis and George Asimellis (Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Greece); expedition run with Bryce Babcock (Williams College) and Glenn Schneider (University of Arizona)

Published Papers

Tanga, P., T. Widemann, B. Sicardy, J. Pasachoff, J. Arnaud, L. Comolli, A. Rondi, S. Rondi, and P. Suetterlin, 2012, “Sunlight refraction in the mesosphere of Venus during the transit on June 8th, 2004,” Icarus, March

Pasachoff, Jay M., Glenn Schneider, and Thomas Widemann, 2011, “High-resolution satellite imaging of the 2004 transit of Venus and asymmetries in the Cytherean atmosphere,” Astronomical Journal, Astronomical Journal: 141, 112.

Schneider, Glenn, Jay M. Pasachoff, and Richard C. Willson, 2006, “The Effect of the Transit of Venus on ACRIM’s Total Solar Irradiance Measurements: Implications for Transit Studies of Extrasolar Planets,” Astrophys. J. 641, 565-571.

Pasachoff, Jay M., Glenn Schneider, and Leon Golub, 2005, “The black drop effect explained,” IAU Colloquium 196 on Transits of Venus: New Views of the Solar System and Galaxy (Cambridge Univ. Press).

Schneider, Glenn, Jay M. Pasachoff, and Leon Golub 2004, “Space Observations of the 15 November 1999 Transit of Mercury and the Black Drop Effect for the 2004 Transit of Venus,” Icarus 168, 249-256.

Glenn Schneider, Jay M. Pasachoff, and Leon Golub, 2003, “Space Studies of the Black-Drop Effect at a Mercury Transit,” Highlights of Astronomy 13, 70-72.

Links to Our Observations

2004 TRACE Transit Observations
Full set of TRACE movies of the transit of Venus and of the orbits of TRACE and ACRIMsat


TRACE stills and movies directly from Lockheed Martin Solar Astrophysics Lab (LMSAL)
Observations from the Swedish Solar Telescope, La Palma
Images from the GONG project

European Southern Observatory’s measurement of the Astronomical Unit

French National site for the 2004 and 2012 transits of Venus (in English)
Overview (clicking downloads a Word document)
Historical information and background
Results of the 2004 observations
Calculating the astronomical unit
Predictions for 2012 (in French)

Williams College Eclipse Expedition Image Galleries

Trip Photos: The Williams College Expedition Team
Veuns Photos: Williams College Expedition images from Greece SBIG CCD on the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki’s 20-cm refractor

Galleries of photos

From HM Nautical Almanac Office, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, U.K.
European Southern Observatory’s gallery and the determination of the Astronomical Unit

Images on Astronomy Picture of the Day


© Jay Pasachoff, Williams College Transit of Venus expedition team, and WIT 2004

The Williams College Team

In Greece:Jay M. Pasachoff, Bryce A. Babcock, David Butts ‘06, Joe Gangestad ‘06, Owen Westbrook ’06, Alan Cordova ’06, Kayla Gaydosh ’05, Rob Wittenmyer ’98
In Williamstown: Steven Souza
All work in collaboration with: Glenn Schneider, University of Arizona
In Greece in collaboration with: John Seiradakis, Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki
The expedition was sponsored by a grant from the Committee for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society. We also thank Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, for a student support grant.We also thank WIT 2004, Sarah Croft ’04, and Terry-Ann Suer ’05 for their assistance.

Newspaper Articles

Science magazine, 5/15/04
The New York Times, 5/18/04
Globe and Mail, Toronto, 5/16/04
Baltimore Sun, 5/17/04
Chronicles of Higher Education, 05/14/04
The Economist, 5/27/04
Boston Globe, 6/01/04
Associated Press article, 6/08/04


European Southern Observatory’s report including list of links
Daniel Fischer’s list of links
Smithsonian Institution Lecture series in Washington Presented in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution Libraries exhibition “Chasing Venus: Observing the Transits of Venus, 1631-2004”; Speakers: Wilbur Applebaum, Richard Fisher, Steven Dick, Jay Pasachoff, David DeVorkin; arranged by Ron Brashear
Chuck Bueter’s Site

Double transit of the International Space Station and Venus

Tomáš Maruška of Slovakia managed to image the ISS crossing the Sun while Venus was also in transit

Glenn Schneider did some processing of Tomáš Maruška’s image

Airplane and Transit, Movie by James Dire, U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Contact James Dire