Costantino Sigismondi. Solar diameter with 2012 Venus transit: history and opportunities

Natural Sciences / Astronomy / Solar astronomy

Submitted on: Jul 17, 2012, 10:22:17

Description: The role of Venus and Mercury transits is crucial to know the past history of the solar diameter. Through the W parameter, the logarithmic derivative of the radius with respect to the luminosity, the past values of the solar luminosity can be recovered. The black drop phenomenon affects the evaluation of the instants of internal and external contacts between the planetary disk and the solar limb. With these observed instants compared with the ephemerides the value of the solar diameter is recovered. The black drop and seeing effects are overcome with two fitting circles, to Venus and to the Sun, drawn in the undistorted part of the image. The corrections of ephemerides due to the atmospheric refraction will also be taken into account. The forthcoming transit of Venus will allow an accuracy on the diameter of the Sun better than 0.01 arcsec, with good images of the ingress and of the egress taken each second.

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