Ranmore Common 6th August 2022

Event Co-ordinated by Glenn Bates

Glenn Bates had come up with a cunning plan – “It’s been a while, how about meeting up to watch an ISS solar transit?”. So a group of Guildford Astronomical Society members met on Ranmore Common, near Dorking, on the 6th of August. The summer heatwave (remember that?) was in full flow and the sky was gloriously blue and clear.
Glenn had found out that, provided we were sitting on the right strip of ground – which did of course include our chosen spot – the International Space Station (ISS) would be seen passing across the face of the Sun at 14:14:27 BST precisely.
We set up a few telescopes and cameras in good time. Well some did – others of us put ourselves under severe pressure as the deadline approached.
Neil Miller had a trick up his sleeve – and set up a telescope for projection viewing of the Sun, which would allow several people to watch the transit together.
The moment arrived and the space station leapt across the solar disc in what felt like a fraction of a heartbeat … but was actually about 0.7 seconds. Blink at the wrong moment and you would have missed it !
If you would like to have a go yourself, the website at gives details of predicted transits for any location that you choose. Transits of the Moon are listed as well as those for the Sun, and those for the Chinese Tiangong space station are also given. If you take a look, you might be surprised by how often it is possible to see a transit – especially if you are prepared to travel a few miles to be in the right place.
Glenn Bates, Nick Tanton, Tim Ellison

Neil Miller setting up his Projection Kit. Photo by Nick Tanton.

Excitement Building. Photo by Nick Tanton.

Neil’s Solar Projector in action. Photo by Nick Tanton. Apple iPhone SE

Glenn’s Robotic Astronomy (the Old School Way). Photo by Nick Tanton. Apple iPhone SE

Transit Composite in Ha. Photo by Glenn Bates ASI120mm camera. Lunt 60THa solar scope

Transit Single Image in White Light
Photo by Tim Ellison Canon EOS 77D camera, Sigma 150-600mm C Series lens,
iso800, f8, 1/4000th sec, 600mm focal length, protective filter made from Baader Solar Film


Comments are closed