Observation Report: 5 June 2012 – Venus transit of the Sun

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Dec. 8, 2125 will be the next Venus transit visible from the East Coast of the U.S.

Report by Kevin Hocker, Membership Director, NSAAC

What is a transit of Venus?

When Venus passes directly between earth and the sun, we see the distant planet as a small dot gliding slowly across the face of the sun.

When was it?

Observers in North America could see Venus transit the Sun on June 5 around 6:04 p.m. EDT until sunset. The entire transit lasted over six hours.  This was the last transit of Venus to occur in our lifetime.  Next chance: December 2117. Those that missed it on the East Coast may (or may not) get a chuckle out of this sign posted in a college science building.

NSAAC had a club viewing event scheduled at Bradley Palmer State Park

Kevin Ackert and others planned to setup to view the transit at Bradley Palmer State Park and the Public was invited via the web site but unfortunately the event was clouded out. Dennis Gudzevich also planned a viewing session at Salem State Observatory but he too was clouded out. Dennis watched the transit on the NASA channel. From Rick Margolies in Carlise, MA

Clouded out in Carlisle as well. The library was projecting the webcast on a large screen, I was able to get home in time for 1st contact

The webcast from the Exploratorium: http://www.exploratorium.edu/venus/ was interesting in that they use various filters. In H-alpha, you can see a little further out in the sun’s atmosphere, so in switching from H-alpha to white light, you could see what appears to be two separate second contacts.

  From Bruce Berger in Marlboro

We saw the sun for 5 minutes from Marlboro, but before the transit started. Instead we watched Slooh (www.slooh.com) from the observing site.

  From Alan and Peter Roy in Beverly, MA

Peter and I just saw it briefly from West Beach in Beverly Farms!

  John Boudreau in Davers, MA reported

I drove up to a shopping center parking lot up in Danvers when I saw the clearing coming in from the NNE. Saw it with filtered Canon IS 10×30 binoculars, but only for a few minutes. Tried to get it with my PST, but another cloud showed up to thwart that idea.

The way the clear area came through I’m hoping the Gloucester club got a good view from Halibut Point.

  Jim Koerth reported from Halibut Point State Park in Gloucester, MA

Fantastic views from Gloucester’s HPSP!!!

  From Dan Smoody in Brentwood, NH

NSAAC Member Photo: Dan Smoody

This transit had a last minute miracle clearing similar to what happened at Veasey in 2004. The sky opened up around 7:30 just before sunset here in Brentwood NH. Of course I was not expecting anything at all and was totally unprepared to do any photography. I manage to click off one miserable and hurried a-focal attempt through the PST. It isn’t much but it’s all I could do considering the short amount of time I had.

Caiden reported in with the following

NSAAC Member Photo: Caiden

Hi, I saw the Venus transit!

It cleared up so that I could see the transit intermittently for about 30 minutes. I was observing the sun with a Coronado SolarMax II with a 25mm eyepiece.

Attached is an image taken at the last minute before the sun went behind the trees. The large black circle on the left is Venus, the two small dots near the middle are sunspots, and the other big spots are trees. Sorry it’s fuzzy, but I only had time to just point the camera into the eyepiece because I wanted to see as much as it can with my eyes.

  Craig Allen Counterman gave the following report

I gave up on chasing holes for 6pm, stayed home and watched several online sites instead. Then it started to brighten here, and I went down to the shore of Lake Quannapowitt. Clouds broke towards sunset and I caught and shared a few glimpses through solar binoculars and my H-alpha scope. There were two groups of a few people each, one with a scope set up who I pointed to the NSAAC.

Now, staying up to watch third and fourth contacts online. I pity the live stream hosts, it’s an awfully long time to fill between second and third contacts.

The most distant report came from Dick Luecke in Mars Hill, NC

Reporting from Mars Hill, NC where I’m attending a music camp. One of the participants drove up from Texas with his 6 in Newtonian equipped with a mylar aluminum filter. Not a cloud in the sky! We all had a nice viewing–watched the planet take its initial bite out of the sun’s edge, and then over onto the disk itself. Bummer for you guys back in MA.

From Grace and Bud Miller in Gardner, MA

NSAAC Member Photo: Grace Miller










took this photo from my telescope in between clouds (sucker hole of approx 45mins) using my point & shoot digital camera – an amazing event!!! glad Budd and I had a chance of a lifetime – it was a gift to have the clouds part for just that moment in the day…


One Response to “Observation Report: 5 June 2012 – Venus transit of the Sun”

  1. Kevin Hocker Kevin Hocker says:

    Nice photo Caiden!

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