Stacking Venus

Since I took my pictures of the transit of Venus I have wanted to combine the images so that you can see Venus’s progress across in the Sun in one photo. Being the incorrigible do-it-myselfer, I of course started browsing the Internet for suggestions and ideas instead of talking to some of my co-workers who would probably have pointed me in the right direction much faster.

I was eventually referred to a free image-stacking program called Lynkeos. It was very easy to use. All I had to do was load my photos, select a region on one that the other images should line up to and press go. Unfortunately the end result was a very fuzzy off centre rendition of the transit.

Stacked images of Transit of Venus 2012 Ottawa Ontario

Stacking my images using Lynkeos


I confess that the problem was likely my photos that were taken without being mounted to my telescope that in turn didn’t have any form of automated or smooth manual tracking for keeping the Sun centred. I’m holding on to Lynkeos to test it out in the future as I think it will work quite well as my photography skills improve.

Realizing that I needed to do a lot more manual manipulation of the photos, I looked for a photo editing software and found several sites promoting GIMP, a free photo editing software. I started playing around with it, reading and watching some tutorials online.  I was soon rotating and aligning images, cropping and adjusting. I eventually managed to combine my photos into something close to what I wanted, more by fluke than by know how, but I am still pleased with the end result

Transit of Venus 2012 Ottawa Ontario 30 min time lapse image

My combined photos of the transit of Venus.