This is definitely the best circle I have found yet. Of you aren’t a geek you probably didn’t know about the transit of Venus that occurred yesterday. The what of what? Every 100 years or so the orbits of the Earth and Venus line up just right so that Venus passes between is and the sun. This may not seem like a big deal but it is what first allowed astronomers to accurately measure the size of the solar system.

I love reading old science procedures and news. Most of the time, the experiments and methods researchers used seem really obvious to us today. Every once in a while the spark of genius that was required to conceive of them makes me think, “Wow, that’s amazingly clever. I never would have thought of doing it that way.”

It isn’t very often that we get to relive the events of a scientific breakthrough like this so I try to make a point of recognizing how special those times are. The editors of Wikipedia have done a much better job of explaining what I am trying to get across so here you go.

There is a great observatory belonging to my alma mater that would have been the perfect place to watch the transit. Life had other plans for me, as it usually does, so I didn’t have time to stop by. I decided to see if it was even possible to see anything with my camera and I was shocked by the results. In order to get the shot I zoomed my Sigma 18-250 out to 250mm, set the aperture to f/40, the shutter to 1/8000th, and stacked a +8 and a +4 neutral density filter on the front of the lens. I only made a couple frames since I was worried about damaging the sensor. I pulled the RAW files into Lightroom, picked the best one, made a virtual copy, way underexposed one, and balanced the other. I exported the tiffs to photoshop where I combined them, sharpened, and smoothed out the noise.