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 MikeW







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2 Entries
• 06/08/04
05/13/04
    
Tuesday, June 8th, 2004
TRANSIT OF VENUS
Being the type of observer who likes to say I saw it, I got up at 3:30am to check the skies. About 30% broken cloud cover and no solid fronts. Great! Next was to check the Internet to view how the transit was going. Live pictures were available from Greece and UK. Looks beautiful.
Most of the large equipment had been loaded into the car the night before, so it was just the telescope, computer and camera bags to add.
I left home at approx. 4:35 to go to a site with a clear view of the sea. I thought was that this would maximize my viewing time since there would be only 41 minutes of transit visible from Cayman. The Sun would rise at 5:46am and the whole show would finish by 6:27am.
I arrived in the east end of Cayman at 5:30am and proceeded to set up the equipment. The predawn light was very helpful and all went well.
However, a problem that was hoped would not occur became visible. The eastern horizon was solid clouds from the sea to about 10 degrees elevation. My heart sank. Did I go back to bed or stay and hope for the best? With nothing to lose, I stayed.
I was following the transit on the laptop using Starry Night. Third contact came and went at 6:08am and no Sun. Fourth and final contact was fast approaching at 6:26am. There were still complete cloud cover of the Sun and horizon but a clear area was moving in quickly.
At 6:18am, the Sun came out from behind the main clouds but was still covered by wispy ones. A quick view through the eyepiece confirmed that Venus was still partially in the Sun as predicted and visible. The camera was quickly inserted, course focus made and pictures taken.
The clouds covered the whole view by 6:20. The Sun was again visible and free of cloud cover at 6:35 when everything was over.
All that was left was to pack up and go home happy. See you in 2012?





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