Alllllllmost there…

Venus Transit imminent

Image credit: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Good luck, clear skies and great viewing for everyone out there trying to see the Venus Transit!

Update 1: Watch the event live here, or watch the embedded NASA video stream, below:


Live video from your Android device on Ustream

Update 2: here are the results of my Transit “expedition”, where I didn’t get any good photos directly through my protective eyegear, but the binocular trick paid off handsomely.

Image credit: Kelly Montgomery, from my crummy binoculars duct taped onto a tripod.

No, really, that’s what this is. For those of you who’ve never used the binocular trick, just uncap one side of your binoculars, point them towards the Sun (while you look away), and project the image onto a white screen below it.

This is exactly what I did; image once again courtesy of my co-worker Kelly.

Urban eclipse expedition

Outside of our building here in Portland, OR, with our "masterful" setup of the binocular trick.

Update 3: A little bit of image processing really shows off what we’re looking at, here!

Image processing of Venus Transit

Image credit: Kelly Montgomery, processing by me.

No, it’s not as impressive as the NASA image, but there’s always something to be said for the experience of doing it yourself with the equipment you just have lying around. My coworker Seth Shikora also got a great picture, which looks pretty pleasing with a little image processing.

Venus Transit

Image credit: Seth Shikora, with a little image processing from me.

You can really get an appreciation for the size of Venus’ disk, up against the Sun like that. It was visible as a small dot through proper eye protection with the naked eye, which coworker/photographer/photography subject Kelly was kind enough to show off.

Photo of Trap!t members Kelly and Tommy.

Image credit: Trap!t. Looking good in the welder's hood, Kelly!

Thanks to everyone at trap!t for helping make this the greatest Venus transit expedition* of my life, and hope yours is just as great!

* — Full disclosure: like most of the United States, I missed the transit of 2004, and won’t be alive for another one!

Update 4: Okay, I really can’t compete with NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Sun with coronal loops

Image credit: NASA, Solar Dynamics Observatory, and Camilla the Rubber Chicken.

Simply amazing, and I hope that whether your experience was or not, you enjoyed following along here with me!

Comments

  1. #1 Neil Bates
    SE Virginia
    June 5, 2012

    Thanks. I went to shore of James River in VA starting around 5:50 PM EDT, and got some good projection images (in between off and on clouds) with my tiny but very good 20 X 40. Others around with this and that but no big scopes, NBD to see 50″ or so Venus cross 32′ Solar disc.

  2. #2 David Ackermann
    United States
    June 5, 2012

    Used the binocular trick to watch this after getting out of work until just before sunset. If you get the focus just right some sunspots join in the party.

    Didn’t have a tripod though, just kept them ‘stable’ on my shoulder.

  3. #3 BenHead
    New York
    June 6, 2012

    I got to see a transit of clouds! It was awesome….

    I did watch live streams from a few different websites, though, which was something.

  4. #4 Chuckinmontreal
    June 6, 2012

    Bright sunshine for virtually the entire afternoon, then thick clouds rolled in just as the transit started. One 20-second break — just enough time to try to reposition scopes, not quite enough to put eye to eyepiece. We stuck it out for over an hour, until torrential rain began. I spent the evening watching live videos from around the world, so in a way I did actually “see” the transit. I’m disappointed for the 750-plus who turned up at our near-perfect viewing area on the side of Mount Royal, but for me, all in all, it was a hoot.

  5. #5 Mick
    Gold Coast
    June 7, 2012

    I bought a few pairs of those cheap solar filter glasses off eBay (they’re similar to old school cardboard 3D glasses but with black tinted lenses) and handed them to family and friends.

    I kept two pairs for myself and took them to work. Everyone that had a look through them during the day was rapt. It’s fun to spread the wonder of science – a lot of people learned something new and had a good think about just where we live and how we have the best seat in the house in terms of watching the universe go by.

    Thanks, universe.