Venus Transit at Work

Viewing the old-fashioned way without a star diagonal. Steve Koenig views the transit while I do the running commentary in my floppy hat for Steve and Kiet Nguyen.

Venus Transit

Transit of Venus (inverted view - refractor) eyepiece projection by Jared Dever (Olympus Pen E-PL1)

For the recent transit of Venus I took my Takahashi FS-102 to work to share the event with fellow workers. Unfortunately my eyepiece case was up at my obsevatory near Anza with my main telescope. I was able to borrow an eyepiece on short notice but not a star diagonal. This made for some interesting contortions in viewing the transit. However in a way it was sort of a throw back to the original refracting telescopes before star diagonals were invented.

About 25 co-workers, all non-astronomers, were treated to views of the transit and with the expected WOWs we are used to hearing when we do public astronomy events. About a half dozen viewers used their i-phone or cameras to attempt eyepiece projection shots of the transit, with some amazingly good results. One viewer happened to take a shot during second contact and was able to record an image that showed evidence of the atmosphere of Venus.

Steve Bennett captures a eyepiece projection shot

Steve Bennett captures a eyepiece projection shot that detects the Venusian atmosphere

Venusian Atmosphere detected

The blurred edge of the Sun between Venus and the edge of the Sun is caused by the thin Venusian atmosphere refracting the lightwaves.

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6 Responses to Venus Transit at Work

  1. Jerry says:

    Thanks again, Russ. It was a treat to witness a true wonder overhead as well as the exuberant reactions of our co-workers. As for my photos, I do not recommend a defunct Palm Pre phone for astrophotography.

  2. Sue Koenig says:

    Photos of the event are great, but nothing beats being part of the moment as it happens. Thank you Russ for bringing in your scope and sharing this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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