June 6, 2012 ALP Venus Transit Binondo Team Report
by James Kevin Ty

Last June 6, 2012, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) that comprises the Binondo Venus transit team setup at 27th floor of fellow ALPer Alberto Lao's place at La Granda Mansion. ALP Binondo team comprises ALP President James Kevin Ty ,  Alberto Lao, ALP Director Edgar Ang, ALP Treasurer Andrew Ian Chan, Berenice Viola Chan, Iah Serna, and new member Marvy Gulapa.  James  setup his Canon EOS 500D DSLR on his trusty TV-101 refractor with 2x Televue Big Barlow for negative projection shot of the Sun while a Coronado PST-Ha was setup along side  for some Ha imaging along the way. They are both mounted on top of the Vixen GP-DX mount;  Edgar brought along his Orion XT6 Newtonian reflector mounted on top of a Celestron CG-5GT mount; Andrew setup his Skywatcher 80ED refractor with Canon EOS 500D DSLR at prime focus on Vixen GP mount; Albert uses a Sony A77 DSLR with Sony AF 500mm f/ 8 mirror lens while Berenice uses a Canon EOS 500D DSLR with Canon EFS 18-200mm lens. They started to setup before sunrise but the weather was a bit hazy and it was very hard  to get a good focus even though majority  of them were using a Baader density 3.8 solar filter which lets more sunlight through than the traditional density 5.0 .  They initially had to use clouds near the Sun to get some close focus but they eventually were able to get correct focus before Venus Ingress I started more or less around 6:12:47am with a tiny small clip off of light near the northeast limb of the Sun! Venus transit has begun and one could hear camera clicking all the way specially Albert Lao, which one could discern his camera 7fps frame bursting like a machine gun firing away :) LOL . 

 With the haze and clouds, James opted to sacrifice a little on frame rates and use RAW mode to image the Ingress times so he will have some flexibility to process the images later as he is sure of lots of processing to enhance the Sun's limb to brought out the Venus silhouette.  Ingress II was recorded more or less around 6:30:22am.  Due to the haze, black drop effect was also very pronounce after Ingress II as one could see Venus western limb being stretched a bit from the Sun's limb.  Several small group of sunspots were also visible on  the Sun's disk but they are far away from the path of the Venus transit :(

Despite the unusually thick haze, they  were able to continue documenting the event. The equatorial mount helped a lot to lessen the burden of trying to center the Sun on the camera screen.  As the transit progresses, clouds and haze continue to hamper us until it reached  the greatest transit time more or less around 9:30am!  Greatest transit time refers to the time  when Venus is halfway between Ingress I (First Contact) and Egress IV (4th Contact).  During this time, some commotions over at Edgar's scope as all were looking through his sharp views of the Venus transit and some of them  specially Berenice, Andrew and Edgar were also able to use their Iphones  to capture the view with very sharp images!


Ingress I ( Ingress Exterior) Progression

Ingress II ( Ingress Interior)

Ingress II ( Ingress Interior)

Black Drop Effect After Ingress II

Black Drop Effect After Ingress II

Venus at Greatest Transit Time

Venus Transit in Ha wavelength

Venus Transit in Ha wavelength

Iphone Afocal Image of Venus Transit Past Greatest Transit

Egress III (Egress Interior)

Egress III (Egress Interior) Progression

Black Drop Effect Around Egress III (Egress Interior)

Black Drop Effect Around Egress III (Egress Interior)

Egress IV (Egress Exterior) Progression

Egress IV (Egress Exterior)

Composite Venus Transit Image

ALP Venus Transit Binondo Setup Location

Venus Transit App Estimated Time of Circumstances

With Venus needing around 7 hours to cross the Sun's disk, all of them were hungry and thirsty as well!  The group would also like to thank fellow ALPer and host Alberto Lao for  treating them for some delicious lunch packs as well as drinks!  Thank you Albert for your generosity ! From then on, it was almost 90% clear all the way till the last view of Venus' disk totally disappeared to the Northwest limb. James  also got a call from fellow ALPer Alex Loinaz who was stationed in PAGASA observatory in UP Diliman telling him if he noticed Venus motion across the disk was like an E path as it seems he said "Venus is moving back to where it has started!"   Fellow ALPer Berenice also noticed it but James  had to explained to them the effect of this unusual effect was caused by the fact that they were observing and imaging the event through an altazimuth mount particularly a photo tripod.  With the Sun  passing meridian, the Sun's orientation would have rotated slightly back and forth during the time it is crossing near the meridian time.  Andrew had to ask his sister Berenice to remove his camera from the tripod and ask her to follow the Sun handheld and the myth is busted :) LOL  Everyone had a good laugh and also the newbies got to learn something new from the veterans of the group :)  The strange E shaped movement of Venus can be eliminated when  one is observing through an equatorial mounted camera or scope.  Below composite image I made of the Venus transit could well help break this myth :)

During this time, their telescopes were almost near zenith and James even had to lay down almost on the hot concrete floor just to get some shots as  Egress III approaches.  Because the floor has red paint,  James had to removed his  dearest ALP uniform before he  lay on the floor so as not to stain his ALP  uniform :) LOL  Despite the heated floor, James  persevered and was treated with good shots of the Egress :)  Egress III was recorded more or less around 12:30:12pm.  A small hint of black drop effect can also be seen but not as pronounced as that of the one after Ingress II because of better sky condition, Egress IV was recorded at 12:47:34pm.

James' Venus Transit Imaging Setup - Canon EOS 500D DSLR on TV-101 refractor with Televue 2x Big Barlow and ATK-1HS II webcam on Coronado PST-Ha with 2x barlow mounted on Vixen GP-DX equatorial mount.

It's cool to wear Solar Shades !!!

James need to lay on the floor midway around Egress Times for him to image the Venus Transit !!!  Oh my aching back :) LOL

ALPer Edgar Ang beside his Orion XT6 Newtonian Reflector on Celestron CG-5GT mount.

ALPers Andrew Ian Chan and Iah Serna beside Andrew's Skywatcher 80ED refractor on Vixen GP mount.

ALPer Albert Lao beside his Sony A700 DSLR on Sony AF500mm f.8 Mirror Lens on sturdy tripod.

ALPer Berenice Viola Chan beside her Canon EOS 500D DSLR with Canon EF 18-200mm lens on sturdy tripod.

ALPer Edgar Ang is awed by the stunning sharp view of his Orion XT6 Newtonian reflector  with Televue 22mm Panoptic ! Awesome!

Newbie ALP member Marvy Gulapa beside James' imaging setup.

ALPer Andrew Ian Chan had a great time using Iphone 4 t do afocal imaging with ALPer Edgar Ang's Orion XT6 Newtonian reflector.

Also worth mentioning is the fact 5 minutes before Egress starts, James and Andrew's  telescope mounts were asking for a telescope reversal so as not to let the telescope hit the tripod, but  James decided  to ignore it because no more time to reverse the mount and recenter it again!  So after Egress,  James' scope and mount configuration only had  a few millimeter left before his camera hits the tripod leg :) LOL  ALPer and Treasurer Andrew Ian Chan fondly call this moment "Near 5th Contact!!!" :) LOL

My Estimated Actual Times of Circumstances based on actual images that I took and times are calibrated via Iphone GPS calibrated Atomic Clock software while estimated times of circumstances data are taken from Transit of Venus Iphone Application on actual location in Binondo , Manila , Philippines (14 deg 36' 13" N , 120 deg 58' 20" E).  All times in Philippine Standard Time (PST)  (Deduct 8 hours to convert to UT)


  Transit of Venus Estimated Time on Site Actual Time Recorded
Ingress I (Ingress Exterior) 06:12:51 PST 06:12:47 PST
Ingress II (Ingress Interior) 06:30:37 PST 06:30:22 PST
Egress III (Egress Interior) 12:30:24 PST 12:30:12 PST
Egress IV (Egress Exterior) 12:47:49 PST 12:47:34 PST

Overall, it was a  success on the ALP Venus Transit Binondo Team as we were able to capture the entire event from Ingress to Egress! He  later heard from fellow ALPer and VP Jett Aguilar who was stationed at his observatory in Marikina was not able to capture Egress because of heavy downpour during that time and only stopped after the end of Egress :(  As for the ALP Luneta team, they lost Ingress because of thick haze as well as  former Miss Philippines Venus Raj's  appearance at the scope of ALPer and PRO Armando Lee hence wasn't able to timed the event  :(  But they were able to record the Egress successfully though.  Overall,  majority of ALP observation and documentation of this rare event is an OVERALL SUCCESS!!!

ALP Venus Transit Binondo Team Group Shot


To view the complete eclipse images taken by ALP members, click here.



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