Venus Transit 2012

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Once in a lifetime!

There has been much anticipation for this event, it being one of the rarest celestial events one can see in their lifetime.  Fortunately the weather cooperated, and thousands of people around Ottawa were able to experience the Venus Transit.  Below are some images from my own experience, held in the parking lot where I work.

I chose the parking lot at my work as it has a nice view of the West, right down to the horizon.  I was very happy that many of my friends and their families came out to watch the Transit with me.  There were 21 people in total that took part.  We had drinks and pizza, as demonstrated by my kids!
Not knowing what to expect weather wise, I chose to go with a light weight and easy to pack-up rig.  I had my ED80 on a iOptron Cube Pro mount with Mallincam Xtreme astro-video camera.  I also had a Williams Optics Zenithstar 66 on a simple push-pull Alt-Az with Meade 6.7mm Ultra Wide eyepiece.  Both telescopes had Baader Solar Film filters.  I am very happy that all my gear worked perfectly.  This was my first real time using the WO66, which I've only had for a month.  I was very pleased by its extremely sharp contrasty views.
The Mallincam image was fed to both a simple LCD TV as well as my laptop for saving snapshots.  The view on the el-cheapo LCD TV was better due to the glare from the Sun.  Note Timbits in Canadian is that!?
GIF animation made from individual screen captures off the Mallincam.  Each frame is approx. 1min apart.  Time period for the animation is roughly 6:08pm to 6:28pm EDT. Composite of frames from the Mallincam showing the lovely sunspot activity as well as Venus motion at ~16min intervals.  Time period for the composite is roughly 6:20pm to 7:13pm EDT. A surprise for me was how nicely the images with my point-and-shoot camera turned out just aiming it through the eyepiece of the WO66.
Everyone started leaving around 7:30, so I started packing up.  By 8:15 when I was done packing up it was completely clouded over, and by 9pm when I got home it was raining...perfect timing!

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Last updated: 06-Jun-12

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