Venus Cranks Things Up to Eleven

11 Jun

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.

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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.

 
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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.

Happy Transits!

~Robin

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