Transit of Venus June 5, 2012

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

This Transit was a rare event. A once in a Lifetime event for those of us on the West Coast, USA. The next Transit of Venus happens in 2117. I doubt anyone alive today will see it.  I didn’t want to miss this special day. I had work on Tues. the afternoon of the Transit. I knew I’d be missing First contact and the first 2.5 hours. No time-lapse for me since I wouldn’t be satisfied not having it from start to finish, but I wanted to see it and if the sky was clear get a photo or two.

The sky around my hometown was full of fluffy clouds all day. The forecast had called for clear skies, but kept changing  as the weather kept proving them wrong each hour. Monday, a friend invited me to join him at NASA Ames.  Tues. he emailed me updates  about the sky condition. Just after 2PM he emailed,  “the sky is “mostly clear”. I called my friend Dali and invited him to meet me at NASA Ames then quickly gathered my gear after work, and drove the 12+ miles to get there. I was thrilled to discover commute traffic was light heading north allowing me to drive 65mph the whole way up.

I met my friend Dali in the parking lot and together we found my friend John who stands 6’4″ a good head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd that gathered there to view the Transit.

I set up my tripod and camera/lens/solar filter and started taking  photos of the Sun with Venus making its way across the Sun.  On my photo above the large black spot is Venus, and the smaller black dots are Sunspots.

John and many other  amateur astronomers had set up their telescopes and were allowing people to get a closer view of the Transit. He’s also a Nikon user like me. He kindly let me hook my camera up to his telescope to get a bigger photograph of Venus transiting the Sun. I’ll post that soon.

Thank you John for sharing your scope, and space with me yesterday it was fun, and send my thanks again to your daughter for the goodies. The coffee cake I sampled was delicious!

Dali’s photos of the Transit are here and here.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 80-200mm @ 200mm + Tamron 1.4x extender= effective focal length 420mm| f11| 1/200s| ISO 400| Manual Priority| Tripod