Transit of Venus 2012

On Wednesday a few of us went out to view the last transit of Venus for the 21st Century. Venus was passing in front of the sun, and we were determined to catch a glimpse of it!

I was hoping to use this as my ‘Science Tripod’ for the day, with batteries, motorised movement and inverter for charging the laptop, but sadly it had a mechanical failure about an hour before we were due to leave. Grabbing duct tape, we improvised!

Fortunately everyone else came well prepared too:

The night before, when it looked as if the weather in Sydney would be terrible, we’d headed over the Blue Mountains to Bathurst and spent the night. Getting up early we headed to Mt Canobolas, on the grounds that higher was better. When we got to the summit it didn’t look too good. In fact we couldn’t even see the top of the radio tower we’d parked at!

Fortunately moving down the mountain a bit worked well, and we were able to get some good shots of the transit starting. Everyone was eventually able to see the transit with their own eyes, and also get some shots with their cameras. Success! From this point on anything else was a bonus. 

We eventually jumped back in the car and started to head down to Yass, in the hopes that it was clearer out there. It started to get bright in patches on the road, so we got into a routine of pulling over for a few minutes, frantically setting up tripods and cameras, snapping for a bit, then packing everything down and running off to the next patch of sunlight when the clouds moved in. 

We were lucky enough to get a few more good shots in, before the clock told us that Venus was well and truly gone, even if the clouds opened up now. 

Here’s some of our images: 

More images can be found here: 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38462165@N05/sets/72157630036261224/

and Tim made a time-lapse of the day here:

Everyone had a fantastic time, and we’d highly recommend doing something like this in the future. Keep your eyes out for the next major eclipse, Nov 14th 2012 in Carins!