6/5/2012 Venus Transit Event Report (Photos and Links Below Text Reports)
Wow! On behalf of the HAL Board, I want to thank all of you who
participated in our Transit of Venus event.
Despite marginal conditions for much of the time, we had a tremendous
public outreach event AND got to see the last Venus transit of our
lifetimes. I'm not sure it was the largest HAL outreach event ever, but
it was right up there with it. I didn't count myself, but I was told
there were 48 scopes, and probably 200- 300 people total. We even had
members of the public bring their own scopes and participate. What
surprised me the most was how many of the public stayed for the entire
event -- I expected people would drop by, see it, and leave. However,
it seemed that most people didn't leave until right at sunset, so they
hung around for the entire time. Part of the reason for their doing so
was undoubtedly the huge variety of scopes and viewing systems you made
available to them -- they could get different views of the transit just
by walking a few feet. We had white-light, H-alpha, and Calcium-K;
viewing through eyepieces, on projection screens, and on TV/video
screens; with the unaided (but filtered!) eye, binoculars, small scopes
and large scopes; even on the internet inside the Conservancy's
facility. Each and every one you contributed your equipment and/or your
knowledge to a great opportunity to share this rare occurrence with the
public. I expect our public star parties will be well-attended for the
next few months. :) I look forward to seeing a lot of nice images in
our gallery and at the monthly meeting.
I also want to thank the Howard County Conservancy for allowing us to
use their property and for opening up their facility for us. Their
willingness to help us at literally the last minute was a huge
contribution of the success of the evening. I encourage you to support
the Conservancy in whatever way you can. In case you did not know it,
the Conservancy personnel present were all volunteers, just like us --
nobody putting on this incredible event was getting paid to be there!
Thank you again for giving your time to help HAL out in this way!
First Vice President, HAL
To all HAL members:
I have been a recipient of your YAHOO mailing list for over 10 years & attended a couple of your public events over the years. On behalf of
myself, my girlfriend, and 2 of my dearest friends who attended the
truly once in a lifetime event yesterday afternoon (since the 2004 ToV
didn't materialize in our area), I wish to extend a hearty THANK
YOU!!! to your organization and to the Howard County Conservatory for
hosting the ToV spectacular. Not to mention the dude above for
opening the skies just as the 2nd closest planet to our star began
crossing The Sun for all to see. After missing out on the last couple
of recent lesser astronomical events due to weather, I had my
doubts-until I noticed that small patch of blue sky to the northwest
slowly inching closer after I arrived at the HCC around 5:15 PM.
I hope to see many of you on August 12 at the same site for the
Perseid meteor shower (of course, weather permitting).
Thanks again for a truly unforgettable 2 hours!!!
Photos Below Immediately Followed by Links to Attendee Photos and Videos Hosted on 3rd Party Sites
Venus Transit Background Information
When Venus passes directly between earth and the sun, we see the distant planet as a small dot gliding slowly across the face of the sun. Historically, this rare alignment is how we measured the size of our solar system. This year's event will only be the 8th recorded Venus Transit since the invention of the telescope making it a must-see event.
Key Event Times at the Howard Nature Conservancy
||Edge of Venus' first contact with solar disk
||Venus fully inside solar disk
|Sunset at Alpha Ridge
||Past end of event viewing for Maryland *
||Venus largest ingress into solar disk
||Edge of Venus touches edge of solar disk
||Event ends Venus outside solar disk
* Sun will actually become too low to observe transit sometime between 8 and 8:30PM.