Venus Transit!!!!!

This Venus Transit story begins with Christmas, I suppose. I was presented with a huuuuuge box — actually a few huge boxes. I had NO idea what was inside them; they intimidated the hell out of me.

It was a telescope. Wow! A total surprise.

There’ve been some great nights viewing this year. And, for the annular eclipse (and the sun filter), an amazing day viewing. With the sun filter and a new attachment (camera adapter!), we were set for a view of Venus as she crossed in front of the sun.

Transit of Venus Telescope image, seen with eclipse glasses

Transit of Venus (Telescope), viewed with eclipse glasses

Transit of Venus composite set

Composite set of images of Venus as she traveled across the sun

What was it like? Well, besides 20 images of the sun and Venus, and people gasping at the sun — I didn’t think that you could see Venus with the eclipse glasses, but you could! What was it like?

A group of people, happy amazement, a nice day, a fresh breeze, a telescope and that dot. That amazing tiny dot. That we could see. With our own eyes (in the glasses, that is). We were at Peck Road Water Conservation Park, and we beckoned people over to see the sight.

“Wow!” “Crazy!” “That’s Venus?”

A few kids were really interested. I told them about this weekend’s open house at JPL. Handed out some NASA Venus Transit postcards (thank you, Jane Houston Jones!) and NASA stickers. One kid came back with a pen and asked us to write the name of the place where the open house is this weekend, so he and his family could look it up and go there. That was the best.

Diana and Karen gasp at Venus Transit while all look on

Gasping at Venus Transit while the others look on

Looking through the telescope:

Watching Venus and the sun through the telescope

Watching Venus and the sun through the telescope

Is what you see through the telescope exactly like those pictures above?

Not quite.

Here’s a view of Venus Transit through the eyepiece, taken by my iPad’s camera. Notice that the position of Venus is flipped. The mirrors reflect the image 90° into the eyepiece. The image in the eyepiece is reversed.

To attach the camera to the telescope, the line of sight goes straight back from the opening to the camera lens. The camera sees the image “right” — just like the eye sees it through the glasses, only much, much better.

iPad view through telescope eyepiece

iPad view through telescope eyepiece (image reversed in eyepiece)

Thru telescope or eclipse glasses, a sight

Thru telescope or eclipse glasses, a sight

(I may show some behind-the-scenes how we figured it all out, the making of — oh, and some of the photos of seeing the annular eclipse from a coupla weeks ago, too! — but I’d better post while I am ahead so you can see a portion of the beauty and wonder we saw today. or, um, yesterday.)

viewing Venus transit through camera

viewing Venus transit through camera

7 responses to “Venus Transit!!!!!”

  1. Kelly

    Wonderful photos, and it is clear that a good time was had by all. Kudos!

  2. frazgo

    It was sooooo cool thanks for inviting me!

  3. Diana

    We had an amazing and fun time yesterday with Susan and her very cool telescope. Great people, lovely location, wonder-full views of Venus and the Sun. Awesome and exhilarating. Thanks so much Susan.

  4. Petrea Burchard

    We had so much fun. Thank you for including us. This was wonderful beyond words.

  5. Greg Bell

    Awesome, Susan, in the true sense of the word. Thanks again!

  6. Liz

    cool beans! Sorry I missed it. I did see part of a live webcast on a work break, so I *kinda* saw it, when asked for posterity 🙂

  7. Susan

    I came over from Petrea’s blog. Such fun photos!