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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Transit of Venus


Yesterday afternoon at around 5:55 pm local time I was pedaling along the Washington and Old Dominion bike trail, on my way home from work.  I was pedaling a little faster than normal because I wanted to try to see the transit of Venus.  I came across a group of amateur astronomers who had set up their scopes alongside the trail -- they were nervously looking at their watches and the clouds.  I told them that I was going to set up my scope too.  "Hurry up!  You'll miss it! It starts at 6:04!" I pedaled even faster.   


The cloud cover was fairly thick, but just as I pulled into my driveway, the clouds broke and sunshine filled the front yard.  I quickly set up the 'scope and got the sun in the field of view.  First I saw sunspots  -- lots of them.   Then, sure enough, off near the rim was the unmistakeable shadow of Venus.  Billy took the picture (above) with his I-phone 4.   The neighbors and all the kids in the neighborhood came over and  had a look.  It was all very cool.  Mission accomplished. 


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2 comments:

  1. Awesome, well done! Unfortunately New England was blanketed in clouds, so I was unable to see it live. Oh well, Mercury is scheduled to transit in 2016...

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  2. We got great views on the Oregon Coast using exactly the same setup as you and Billy. We have a 3.5" Celestron C90. Great to be able to see the transit first-hand. Thanks!

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