The Transit of Venus from NYC


From the Pier at 70th Street on the Hudson River

A wonderful crowd came out to the River in spite of the plentiful clouds, which in their own way were spectacular. Everyone was so excited and interested in seeing their solar system in action, people of all ages and visitors from far away. It was New York at its best!

The evening started out with some rain, Matt and I were nervous that it would be a washout, but there were some spots of blue, so it would be not only a special alignment of planets and sun, but of pier and clouds! We walked down to the Pier at 70th Street, and there were a bunch of New Yorkers with telescopes under plastic and umbrellas! We had a drink and then the sky looked promising, so we set up our spotting scope and tripod with our high tech projection screen (cardboard and 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of white paper, mostly hand held). Shortly after 5:20 the clouds parted and the disk of the sun was on out paper! With a triangle of large sun spots and several smaller ones! But no Venus! Then I realized that the web site I used did not include Day Light Savings time... we would have to wait another hour and hope for another hole in the clouds.

The crowd started to grow and then it happened, just after Venus had fully entered the disk of the Sun, the clouds parted and gave us some SPECTACULAR views! Cameras, cellphones, iPads, dark glasses, welding glass, telescopes of all sorts, projection screens, filters, so many ways to look and record! It was actually made even more spectacular with the clouds wafting across the disk, blotting out the view and then revealing Venus again, and then covering again. It was the thrill of hide and seek which most of us had not experienced in many years! :) We had three really good viewing opportunities between about 6:30 and 7:45. We still had another hour before sun set, but the clouds moved in heavy and that was the end of the show for us. Hope people in other places enjoyed the view as well.

Please enjoy the photos, if anyone would like their image removed from this slide show, or would like copies of any of the images, please feel free to e-mail me at jholmes [at] igc.org

Some fun links:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=78158&src=eoa-iotd
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/28may_cook/
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/venus_images.html

June 5, 2012