The clouds started to roll in before the sun went behind the mountains, but I was able to grab enough to put together a sequence of of the position of Venus in front of the sun. The last two positions had a lot of clouds that I removed, which probably accounts for a bit of an odd shape to the planet (plus the equipment I was using likely didn’t help). The sequence represents from just after 4PM Mountain Time until just after 7PM.
The clouds started to appear early in the afternoon, just in time to spoil the last transit of Venus until 2117. But I still skipped out of work early and drove home with my fingers crossed (fortunately, I drive an automatic).
By four o’clock, the clouds started to show slight breaking on the horizon, but the winds picked up and my telescope and tripod were both vibrating as I set them up. With a few minutes to go, I struggled to stabilize my optics in time for the main event and continued to hope for the clouds to stay out of the way. I wasn’t even sure what I would be able to see with the gear I had on hand, so all I could do was wait.
When Venus started to appear, I was so overwhelmed that I nearly forgot to take a picture. I went from worrying about not being able to see anything because of the weather or because of the limited equipment that I had to witnessing an amazing display of nature; another planet visibly crossing in front of the sun. I fired off a burst of images, adjusting settings as best I could to compensate for the distance, the focal length, and the damned wind.
After awhile, I stopped taking pictures and just watched, switching between my camera and my telescope, taking it all in. I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t so focused on taking pictures that I missed the experience or failed to appreciate what I was seeing. A giant rock floating through space aligned for us to see, demonstrating the beautiful order and rhythms of the universe.
[Click an image below to start the slideshow.]
Just in time for the Transit of Venus tomorrow, I received my mylar film and was able to take a few shots of the sun. Not a lot of prep-time before the main event tomorrow, but compared to the shots that I took the last week with the welder’s glass, these are amazingly crisp. The black dots are not dust since they moved with the sun, which means they are sunspots! Fingers crossed that I can make a few images tomorrow of Venus.