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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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  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...

  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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