Tuesday, June 5, 2012

2012 Venus Transit Across The Sun

I've been waiting for this day for months.  The weather was looking good all day.  Today was the transit of Venus across the Sun (black circular dot in the upper right of the picture).  At 6:04pm when the transit was supposed to start here on the east coast, thick clouds moved in and it looked like we were going to be skunked again!  Come ON!  I'm not waiting around for another 117 years to get another chance!  I waited an hour on my front door step and still no breaks in the clouds. I decided that I needed to move down the street.  Maybe there were less clouds there.  So I picked up my camera, solar filter, and tripod and moved down the street to a neighbor's house that had a 12" telescope set up.  I was going to go over to the lake where there was a decent horizon but it looked like maybe we would catch a break (literally) and I didn't think I would have time to hoof it all the way to the lake.  Sure enough the clouds parted around 7:08pm and we got about 13 minutes of viewing time before a larger cloud deck moved in.  I took a number of great shots, the best one is shown here.  I wasn't fast enough to capture the plane in the center of the disk but I'm happy with getting it at all.  The perspectives here are wild if you stop and think about what you are looking at and the distances involved.  Nearly all of the shots have some clouds in the view but each one is uniquely different.  First glance reminds me of the day Voyager sent back the first images of Neptune and Uranus...although I don't recall ever seeing an airplane in the view.  I was glued to the NASA channel for weeks!

Well the kids didn't seem too interested in seeing this but I'm glad I got a picture of it.  Hopefully in time they will understand that you need to take advantage of these opportunities and most importantly to be patient.  117 years is a long time to wait to see it again.

No comments: