Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Off to ogle at Venus...

Right, I'm taking the two dogs out for a walk before getting on my bike for a wild ride around town that will climax on top of Mt. Helix (hopefully before 3:30PM) to catch the transit of the planet Venus across the sun. 

Alas, my good camera (the one with 10x zoom) fell off the wagon the other day... literally, so I'm left with the not so good camera (the one with 4x zoom and a few dust spots on its lens) to try to capture some good shot of the rare phenomenon with. That, and the eclipse glass I bought from the North Star Science Shop at the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park, of course (if you're in San Diego and don't have a good #14 welder's shield or don't know (or can't be bothered to know) how to make a pin hole projector to safely watch the transit with, they're selling eclipse glasses at Fleet Sci Ctr for only $2).

And here's a little prayer to Venus...

Offenbach's Helen may be a bit flaky, but she has a point; Venus is a bit airy and hard to catch.... I hope you'll be able to catch a glimpse of the transit, if it is visible in your area. The alignment is so rare that if you miss this one you most likely won't live to see the next one in 2117. If you are in South America or Africa, though, I'm afraid the transit happens at night your time, and so isn't visible... though you can watch the event live via the NASA Edge Program at Mona Kea, Hawaii.

Edit: Well, well, it's nice and sunny outside (I was expecting at least partly cloudy today)... think I'm heading to the beach instead of up the mountain to catch Venus (after all, who wants to ride down wiggly Alto Dr after sunset anyhow? Besides, the sun will look bigger as it sinks into the ocean!).

4 comments:

eyesometric said...

Did Venus live up to expectations?
It was rainy here at 05.30 so no luck for us but the TV pictures are pretty amazing.

Smorg said...

Hey Eyes,
Well, without a good zoom lens she was a bit distant, matie. Tho I did catch long looks of her. Aesthetically I think I prefer the singing one (in Tannhaeuser, especially when impersonated by a certain red headed German mezzo!), though Venus the planet is more mysterious, which is alluring in itself! ;oD

Sorry the weather didn't cooperate your way! We got lucky and had good visibility. I watched the entry and the first 2 hrs or so from the top of Mt Helix, then cycled west to catch both the sun and Venus set into the ocean on Dog Beach. It was really cool! :oD

Anonymous said...

I can't stop playing that Belle Helene video!

So did you see the transit? It was raining here, so I had to watch the NASA live stream. Just as well. It's like watching football, much better view from the tv screan than from stadium seat. Not as cool an atmosphere, however.

Soren

Smorg said...

Hey Soren: That (perpetual playing of the clip)'s a frequently reported complaint, I'm afraid. XD A Helen with a voice like that...

I did get to see the transit from both the top of Helix and then Ocean Beach. :D Meant to write about it soon after, but have been swamped of late. Will try to remedy that soon, tho. Sorry to hear the weather went bad on you, but you do have a point about better viewing via the streaming. Venus appeared very small indeed. Quite hard to see without a telescope. :D

Thanks very much for stopping by. Hope your weekend is going well!