Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Venus Transit of the Sun

Yesterday, a once in a life time event happened here on Earth. Venus crossed the path of the Sun during the daylight hours and we could watch the progression of the 2nd planet closest to the Sun, and our neighbor Venus cross right in front of our very own eyes.

For the last 3 months we have watched the shiny jewel of a planet in our evening sky, light the night sky and have multiple pairings with the Moon, Jupiter and a few stars and that was pretty spectacular. Finally the planet caught up with the Sun and was now planning on crossing in front of it. This has happened only 4 times in the last 243 years and won't happen again until December 2117, or 105 years from now. It is a once in a life time celestial event.

Now the day started off cloudy, dreary and looked like little hope for the sun to even peek out, the forecast was to be a chance of showers in the afternoon. As the day progressed it started to get clearer and more blue sky and less clouds!! I was getting excited. I got home at 5:00 and the Transit started around 6:03 p.m so there was little time to waste. I got my scope out and had to calibrate it so it would track the sun properly without me having to make adjustments, and below is the view I had of the sky!


I brought out the scope and I needed power as my scope is very intelligent and once it is setup it can track objects and there is no need to touch the scope once the object you want to look at is in the eyepiece. This is very helpful as I can walk away from the scope for at least 10-15 minutes and come back and the scope is still centered on the object! Incredible! Above is a quick movie of how my scope auto tracks and finds what I am looking for, in this case I told it to find Venus.

My son Nicholas who loves Astronomy was just as excited and here he is holding the Solar Filter that goes over the front of my ETX-125 Meade Telescope. You could easily see Venus with out using the scope as the filter blocks 99.9% of light and the Sun looks awesome. Its like a Welder's glass.

I had a big puffy cloud show up right at 6:03 so I had to wait until about 6:11 and these were the first two shots I took!

Venus just starting to make it's way on to the Sun's face! Amazing!

Here is some progress shots and I used mostly a 26mm Meade Eyepiece except on the 2 close up shots where I used a 12.5mm Zhumell eyepiece. It was just a wonderful viewing opportunity.

Here is Nick viewing the Transit. We had neighbors stop by and look at it too. 

And my last shot before the Sun moved behind my neighbors home. 

I truly enjoyed this once in a lifetime event and I hope you do too!!