The solar eclipse two weeks ago caught me off guard. I was looking forward to it in a totally nerdy way and lamenting that I had left my set of solar viewers with my stuff in Ohio. My plan was to cannibalize a bunch of boxes to make a pinhole camera the morning of the eclipse and see it in it’s full glory.
Then, when the morning of the big event came, I just kinda…. forgot about it. My amnesia was so extensive that I didn’t realize it was happening even as I was hanging out and thinking “Wow, the alpenglow on the mountains looks really cool!” and “Dude, isn’t it a bit early for sunset?” I blame it all on a busy weekend.
When my roommate reminded me that “Oh yeah, there’s this crazy solar event going on,” I ran outside to see it without having any means of observing it. It was cool but not at all what I had hoped for. To add insult to injury a few days later I found my solar viewers tucked away in a box of stuff I seldom use.
The words I used were hardly pretty and not at all lady-like.
Then, when I realized that Venus was going to transit the sun, it made up for all the disappointment I had at missing the eclipse. I compensated by cranking up my excitement to eleven. I spent the first part of the day scowling at every cloud that had the nerve to peak it’s head over the horizon. I came armed with the solar viewers which I shoved into the hands of every single person I could find. I reveled in it as a the tiny speck of Venus traveled across the sun. It was more than glorious and I had the satisfaction of knowing that it wasn’t going to happen again in my lifetime.
I did learn the unfortunate lesson that photographing the sun is extremely difficult even if you do have a spiffy set of solar viewers. This is the best photograph of the event that I could achieve. If you want to see images that don’t suck I’m going to refer you to Phil Plait’s photo gallery on Bad Astronomy.