LOCAL photographers and skygazers Austin Taylor and Chris Brown enjoyed a twice in a lifetime experience in the early hours of Wednesday morning that far outshone the excitement of the jubilee celebrations.
Both men were up at the crack of dawn to witness the rare transit of the planet Venus across the Sun, last seen eight years ago but not to be repeated for more than a century.
Mr Taylor drove all the way from his Lerwick home to spend the night on Unst so that he would have an extra few minutes thanks to the earlier sunrise on Britain’s most northerly isle.
On Unst the sun rose around 3.35am when he managed to capture a picture of the transit without the mandatory solar filter on his camera lens that eradicates 99.99 per cent of the light and which were used for the rest of his photos.
The clouds rolled in shortly after sunrise, but thinned to allow more photography. Then they thickened but finally cleared for the final half hour before the transit ended around 6am.
“I saw the transit in 2004, but the quality of the pictures were better this time simply because the technology has moved on in the past eight years,” he said.
“Not many people will have seen either transit so I was really glad to have seen both of them. For me it was such a momentous event it was worth the trip to Unst and to see the sun set, the moon rise and the transit all on one night was pretty special.”
Mr Brown travelled from his home on Trondra to the east of the isles to witness the transit from above the Dale golf course, where he was shocked to see someone playing a round at 5am. “It was a marvellous experience to be able to see it again,” he said.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 440 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News