Tuesday, 5 June 2012
2012 Transit Of Venus
Transit of Venus: Sydney. Strong cold wings and heavy cloud confronted Sydney Transit watchers this morning, June 6. Add sudden squalls of rain and there was only one option: the old soviet-era 4" F10 Maksutov (MTO). On a rugged alt-az mount it is little affected by wind gusts. This, plus a cross-hair e.p. giving magnification 80 managed to capture 25 or so transit chords across the sun - each locating Venus at various stages of the event. I'm hopeful that when these are plotted the rate of Venus' transit can be calculated, and contacts 1, 2, 3 and 4 found (here's hoping). Unlike the 2004 TOV the 2012 contacts were not well observed through the cloud and rain (Contact 4 not at all). For a devoted sunwatcher the sight of the big black orb on the sun's disc with the current rather wispy spots made for a breathtaking sight. Venus seemed much darker than even the strongest umbrae of AR's 11493 or 11494. Amazing day!