I stumbled onto the other three images while fiddling with the camera as I tried to snap a pic of the sun with my Pentax K-x, a 55mm lens, and a #850 Infrared filter. I shot the pics in raw, cropped aggressively, and then used Picasa to try to correct the color balance. That first picture, the magenta ring with psychedelic focal zoom is actually closer to the original, unedited pics than my yellower suns. Again, special thanks to Carol for letting me download her photograph!
The Transit of Venus happened eight years ago in 2004 and then again just this week, but won't appear again for another 105 years. That's because Venus' orbit has a slightly different tilt than the earth's.
Friends, I couldn't capture the kind of image I had hoped for, but it was fun to try. I hope to fiddle around again with sun pictures and see what develops.