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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!!!

Jay Berg

Photos Below Immediately Followed by Links to Attendee Photos and Videos Hosted on 3rd Party Sites

Individual Links to External Photo Sites with ToV Pix in order received
Joe Bohanan Paul Shepherd
Phil Whitbloom Richard Orr
James Willinghan James WIllinghan - Animation
David Illig Mike Krauss
Chris Miskiewicz (Youtube Video1) Peter Friedman
Ellicott City Patch (Youtube Video) Neil Rothschild
Chris MIskiewicz (Youtube Video2)  
James WIllinghan (2nd Contact)  
Peter Nerbun  
James Stuby (Youtube video) NASA VIdeo


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

Event EDT Meaning
Contact 1 6:03:38 PM Edge of Venus' first contact with solar disk
Contact 2 6:21:29 PM Venus fully inside solar disk
Sunset at Alpha Ridge 8:30 PM Past end of event viewing for Maryland *
Greatest 9:27:33 PM Venus Largest ingress into solar disk
Contact III 12:33:16 AM Edge of Venus touches edge of solar disk
Contact IV 12:51:09 AM Event ends Venus outside solar disk

* Sun will actually become too low to observe transit sometime between 8 and 8:30PM.

2012 Transit Plot


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Last modified: November 27, 2015 @ 18:39 EST