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Wednesday
Jun062012

the transit of venus

Yesterday was mostly overcast, and I vacillated until the last minute before finally deciding to gamble on a weather website's prediction of an appropriately timed gap in the cloud cover at Stellafane. I drove to Burlington and picked up my son Jake, and we made the two-hour-plus trip to Breezy Hill, finding a nice crowd of other astronomical optimists. A patch of blue sky opened up as people set up their scopes, but the clouds moved back in at the beginning of the transit, so we missed first and second contacts. But then things opened up again, and our optimism was amply rewarded. There were a dozen or more STM members present, including some who drove farther than I did (that's real optimism!), and several interested newcomers found their way to Stellafane. It was a lovely time—we were both very glad we decided to go. After all, neither of us is likely be around for the next transit of Venus, in 2117.

Above, an image from a member's 10" Meade Newtonian 'scope, made by aiming my low-end point-and-shoot camera through the eyepiece. Venus at the top, sunspots visible below.

Part of the group and some of the 'scopes. The Porter Turret telescope is on the right.

More of the group, Stellafane clubhouse in background.

Solar image projected in Porter Turret Telescope.

Waiting for a gap in the clouds.

Image from a member's Televue refractor, through thin clouds, again made with point-and-shoot camera.

 

 

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