May 25, 2020

Update: A Transit of Venus Seen ‘Round the World.

Our cloudy view! (Photo by Author).

One of the top-billed events for 2012 & this century occurred yesterday of June 5th, 2012 as Venus transited the Sun for the last time until 2117. The event lasted for about 6 hours and 40 minutes and more individuals saw this rare celestial event online and in person than ever before. Just think, in 2004, social media was non-existent, and actually streaming something live to a web audience was a dicey affair.

Our rig on weather standby! (Photo by Author).

We did savor a few very brief glimpses of the transit through clouds here from Astroguyz HQ, and even managed to snap a very few quick pics which we were pleasantly surprised to see actually contained the transit! (See intro pic) Like many, we were surprised to see how large Venus actually appeared against the disk of the Sun, at about 1 arc minute across. Put Earth at the same distance, and it would appear similar!

Anyhow, we thought we’d run a very brief selection of transit shots from worldwide & beyond today:

The transit as seen from the ISS. (Credit: NASA/Don Pettit(@astro_pettit):

(Credit: NASA/JPL)

Don Petit got the 1st photos of the transit of Venus as seen from the International Space Station yesterday… It’s interesting to note clicking through the Flickr stream that the orbital motion of the ISS is apparent in the rotation of the pics!

Andrew Symes (@FailedProtostar) from Ottawa, Canada:


Clay Davis (@Claymdavis) from Santa Fe, New Mexico:

An Ingress Video from NASA-SDO;

Ramiz Qureshi (@ramizq1) from Karachi, Pakistan:

Ramiz noted that as the transit rose through the haze as seen from Pakistan, the transit could actually be seen with the naked eye! How many ancient transits of Venus were seen but unrecorded prior to to 1639?

Rob Sparks (@HalfAstro) from Tucson, Arizona:

a solar projector;

And the transit as seen in Hydrogen Alpha;

Michael Rector (@AdirondackAstro) from Plattsburgh, New York:

Like many astronomical events, a single impression struck me. Here I sat on “transit vigil” in my backyard, awaiting a fleeting glimpse through clouds with a battery of instruments. Around me, dogs barked, cars honked, and the usual neighborhood noises could be heard, just like any other day on the planet Earth. But here was something unique very quietly occurring overhead, there for anyone who sought it out. How much of beauty, truth, and the just plain bizarre swirls around us everyday, obvious to our concerns?

All pictures were used with the authors permission; thanks to all who contributed and made this Transit a truly worldwide astronomical affair!


Astro-Event: The First Lunar Eclipse of 2012.

The partial phase of the December, 2010 total lunar eclipse. (Photo by Author).

(Note: I know, we promised a post on Xi Ursae Majoris this week; upcoming events prompted a last minute scheduling change. Trust me, it’s in the pipeline for July!)

A little over 24 hours prior to the big ticket transit of the planet Venus on June 5th-6th is another interesting astronomical event, perhaps less sexy, but worth noting. [Read more...]

The Top Astronomy Events For 2012.

Comet Lovejoy from the ISS! (Credit: NASA).

It’s here, the most vaunted astronomical post of the year; what’s happening in the sky in 2012! Just think; while your well-meaning but astronomically oblivious friends/co-workers/relatives fear the coming Mayan prophecy, YOU can be hip and “in the know” on upcoming astronomical events in 2012! (Hint; the end of the world is NOT one of them!) [Read more...]