Mindblowing picture shows Hubble Telescope AND Venus in dual transit across the Sun

Illustration for article titled Mindblowing picture shows Hubble Telescope AND Venus in dual transit across the Sun

We've seen some pretty incredible images of the Venus Transit come to light over the last couple of days, but this photograph — captured by astrophotographer Thierry Legault — may be the best yet.

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At first glance, Legault's photo looks like many others of the transit; Venus appears in the form of a distinctive black disc, and a number of sunspots can be seen sprinkled across the Sun's face. But look closer and you'll notice something incredible. See those evenly spaced circles running diagonally across the image? They're meant to draw your attention to that almost invisible speck at the center of each one — that's the Hubble Telescope [click here for ultra hi-res version].

While you're letting that sink in, consider this: Thierry had to determine where on Earth he would have to be, and at precisely what time he would need to aim his camera skyward in order to capture the image — two conditions that led to his being in Queensland, Australia on the morning of June 6th.

Illustration for article titled Mindblowing picture shows Hubble Telescope AND Venus in dual transit across the Sun
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There, at 11:42:25 local time, shooting at ten frames per second, he captured a total of nine images of Hubble as it zipped across the face of the Sun — a transit it made in just nine tenths of a second. Thierry didn't have a window of opportunity to capture this dual transit on film; he had a freaking peephole.

You can check out more of Thierry's stunning astrophotography — including a picture of the ISS in transit during a solar eclipse — on his website.

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Images courtesy of, and with consent from, Thierry Legault

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DISCUSSION

collinxvii
papercup mixmaster

Oh man, what an amazing set of events to capture. Hubble is among my favorite things that homo sapiens has accomplished as a species. Coupled with an uncommon (at least from a human perspective) astronomical event: priceless.

I'm glad there's been so much great Venus transit imagery showing up in the last few days. I'd love to have seen it, but despite a theoretically clear view it was cloudy where I was. Unlike Thierry, I had little choice over my location at the time as I was catching a Radiohead concert which, living in Indiana as I do, is pretty much just as rare an occurrence.