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2012 Transit of Venus

6 Jun 2012, 12:05 UTC
2012 Transit of Venus
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2012 Transit of VenusOriginally uploaded by neatonjr
Well, between the Texas heat and summer thunder storms, seeing Venus transit the sun was challenging but it was still an exciting event. A nice sized crowd turned out at the Russell Planetarium (West Mesquite High School) were we set up our 8" Dobsonian and shared our Canon image-stabilized binoculars for public viewing (both outfitted with Baader film filters).

I also set up our Parks 60mm refractor but instead of having people line up to view directly through it, I used a barlow to attach my Nikon D7000, tethered it to a laptop and displayed the transit full-screen on the laptop while capturing live high-def video. So, rather than a long line like the other telescopes, with this setup a small crowd could watch at once. When the clouds obscured the view, I could play back the video and still allow people to watch - handy for the few people who arrived during a cloudy period and had not yet been able to see the transit.

Did I mention it was hot? It was ironic that we were all out there anxious to see the sun but also wishing for shade. And ...

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