January 30, 2013 #130 - Catching the Venus Transit

I was able to see both the Venus transits from northern Indiana (2004.06.08 & 2012.06.05). The first was ending just at dawn and the weather conditions were atrocious. I was able to catch it through a break in the clouds just after dawn. The second was under much better circumstances. The sky was clear all day and I set up my 60's vintage Unitron 2.4 in projection mode. Ingress through most of the transit could be seen until sunset brought observation to a colorful halt. It was clear enough to watch the event as the sun slid below the horizon.

I was surprised by the size of Venus compared to the transits of Mercury I had observed in the past. I have observed Venus many times during it's appearances over the years in the dawn and evening sky, and even occultations by the moon, but nothing really enables you to judge it's size like a transit.

The Unitron optics still present classic diffraction rings after many years of use. In the 60's I was able to ferret out many NGC, Messier, planetary, eclipses, occultation, and comet observations in the dark skies of the time. It still presents double stars in admirable style.

Clear Sky - Rich

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