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Transit of Venus

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Transit of Venus

Postby rowan » Fri Jun 1, 9:25 2012

This is short notice, I don't know why* it didn't occur to me to think to post this sooner, but Venus is going to be transiting the sun. It will basically look like a black dot moving across the sun (you know, like an eclipse but the angular size of Venus is << that of the Sun).

***REMEMBER NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN WITHOUT PROPER PROTECTION.***

Here is Phil Plait's Everything You Need to Know About Next Week's Transit article, including how to observe it safely.

Toward the bottom he has a link to NASA's list of times for US Cities and for the rest of the world. It is useful to note that the times listed have some terminology:

External ingress: when Venus first touches the sun
Internal ingress: when Venus' other side enters the sun
Altitudes: the angular height above your horizon that this happens at. Often it is hard to see anything at <10 altitude due to trees/buildings/etc even if you have a clear view of the horizon. Unless maybe you're in Kansas. ;)
Internal egress: when Venus starts exiting the sun
External egress: when it completely exits the sun.
(there's also the "greatest transit", but I think that's of less specific interest)

Note that times listed are UT. Take care to note whether it will be Jun 5 or 6 that your location will be able to see. Here in the US it will be on the 5th (in general, the western hemisphere will see it on the 5th).

The most fun way to go do something with this is to go to a local astronomy club or university if they are having an event. Since this is so rare of an event a lot of people are going to be doing things for it. Your next opportunity will be in 105.5 years, so get it while it's hot. :) For many places in the US, it will be an evening event so go! I think the Sun has some very nice sunspots, and at least here there will be a talk and NASA presence as well. Many places may still run talks etc, even if it is cloudy.

:)


*I do know, but it's a sekret
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Re: Transit of Venus

Postby Sonic# » Fri Jun 1, 12:44 2012

Scintillating!

It's a little disappointing that it might not be viewable with something used to see the eclipse. On the other hand, there's an astronomical society nearby, so I could always just go to their meetup. Yay! Do you get any access to neat equipment (sufficient-grade welder's goggles, heavily-tinted camera) for seeing it?
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Re: Transit of Venus

Postby rowan » Sun Jun 3, 6:20 2012

We have a solar filter for the telescope, and also some projection solar telescopes. I think actually the latter will be better for this. We're not running an event because the big university is. But I will probably use them for my own happy and avoid the crowd.
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Re: Transit of Venus

Postby rowan » Tue Jun 5, 20:53 2012

pics or it didn't happen, right? Weeelll, I only managed to get one that wasn't horribly over or under exposed. But this one came out nice enough:

Image

You can kind of tell it's not -quite- in focus... but it's close and the best one I got.

I missed the "ink drop" effect due to a cloud that seriously popped in the way for the 30 seconds right then. Jerk cloud. Oh well. I also had a SURPRISE! I just thought I'd take my class up here to see what's going on! visit from the geo department. Which is ok but seriously some warning would be nice.
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Re: Transit of Venus

Postby androkguz » Thu Jun 7, 23:32 2012

This thread is awesome, I don't know why I didn't noticed it before. :)
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