Venus Transits

Tuesday, 5 June 2012, 21:01 | Category : Stargazing
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I took a fairly low-tech approach to observing the Venus transit, setting up my Orion 70mm refractor with a 26mm eyepiece, projected onto handheld white paper. Like this:

Scope Setup
Scope Setup

It worked surprisingly well, especially after I remembered that even in daylight I needed to align the equatorial mount towards the north (very fine hat is optional). I got it all situated just in time to catch the beginning of the transit at 5:09 PM Central time. I took these photos using my iPhone to capture the projection – and because I was hand-holding both, the aspect ratios are a little off in some.

Here’s the sequence of pictures:

Venus Transit, beginning

Venus Transit

Venus Transit

Venus Transit

By this time, clouds were beginning to be a nuisance (but the iPhone camera picked up on some sunspots through the clouds):

Venus Transit, attracting clouds

I got one more good shot before the sun dropped too low:

Venus Transit, beginning

And then it was in the trees:

Venus Transit, beginning

But refocusing the refractor gave me an interesting shot:

And then it was down in the trees. The great Venus Transit of 2012 was over for me. But it was a fascinating couple of hours.