Tuesday, June 05, 2012

viewed the black dot (Blue Mountains)

At 6:04 PM, we observed first contact for the transit of Venus! Some tried to time it with varying degrees of success.

I spotted it at the top-right of the Sun disc in the MallinCam. Once again, I goofed on the image orientation.

Al and Malcolm arrived a little after first contact. They set up on the front lawn.

We watched for the black drop. Some reported seeing Venus's atmosphere. I don't think I saw it.

I looked at the imagers, Jim and Manuel G. Jim was using his custom 'scope. High mag. Great quality. Wow! It was pretty amazing. Hey! I noticed he has a laptop "tent." He liked it a lot.

Manuel was getting some good imagery with his camera and his in-law's telescope. I was pleased to see that he was getting some decent data.

I almost forgot! I set up the Questar 3½" on the picnic table. It offered nice views at 40x and 80x.

I also got out my "thingee," the solar viewer with welder's glass. Had to clean it, it was very dusty and dirty.

It was interesting view the Sun at 1x power, without magnification. One had to pay attention, be still and steady. One could only just make out dot of Venus.

I looked through a variety of devices:
  • Dunlap Institute eclipse glasses - mushy!
  • Katrina's solar glasses - much better, clear, orangey
  • my welder's glass - clear, green, of course
  • Katrina's PST
  • Phil's PST with good eyepiece - very nice
  • the RASC Calcium PST - eerie purple, hard to see Venus
  • the big binos - lovely 25x and 40x
  • Sharmin's Galileoscope / white light - very nice, impressive
  • Phil's refractor - nice
  • Stu's refractor and Tele Vue eyepiece / white light - fantastic
  • Questar / orange filter - nice at 80x and 40x
  • the Centre's TV101, with SolarMax, on the MallinCam - live
  • Manuel's computer - live, a great image
  • Jim's computer - live, incredible
Some clouds rolled through around 8 PM. We did our group photos then.

And then we caught the transiting Venus again, for about 30 minutes, through sunset.

What a great event!


I'm so satisfied to have seen this event. A rare thing, this astronomical alignment. I don't know where I was or what I was doing for the first of the pair. It was wonderful, nonetheless, to see it this time.

We had an excellent turnout at the CAO too.

Computer and telescope photos by Bryon Czarnik. Pano photos by Lora Chow.


And then we had ToV cake!

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