Postcard from the Universe – Venus Transit

Transit is over, an exhausting and exhilarating day! I am headed to bed, but still totally jazzed with the experience. Keeping the webcast going for seven hours was a huge effort. Given the comments from our viewers it was worth it. I will have to more fully write up the experience for a later post.

The best visual for the day was the few minutes just before second contact… A beautiful, razor thin arc of light coming through the Venusian atmosphere, connecting the two horns of the occluded Sun. It was delicate and sublime, one of the most memorable sights I have ever seen through a telescope. With the excellent seeing of Mauna Kea, and the wonderful optics of my TV-76 telescope, the sight was clear and steady. I have yet to find a photograph that captures what I saw through the eyepiece.

I will post a quickly processed version of one of the frames from the second camera…

Venus Transit Second Contact
Transit of Venus 2012, second contact at 12:27pm

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

6 thoughts on “Postcard from the Universe – Venus Transit”

  1. I got a chance to watch your streamed 3rd and forth contacts well done to you and the keck crew

  2. You guys did a great job with the Webcast. Several of us had it on throughout Gemini before breaking early to drive up to Saddle Road. Clouds / fog rolled in minutes before 3rd contact, but prior to that, we had good views.

  3. Watching your Webcast of the Transit last night was amazing and NEVER boring! The Keck crew did a magnificent job!! I love all things astronomical!! I live in Montgomery, Alabama (lived in Hawaii for 4 years in the ’80s) and plan to travel to Clarksville, Tenn. in August of 2017 to witness the Total Solar Eclipse! I am 51 years old, and this is the closest a total eclipse has/will be to me! I don’t plan to miss it! Thank you again for the Webcast! Look forward to more in the future!!

  4. We are in currently rainy Western Australia, and your webcast was the only way that we got to see the transit at all. My kids’ primary school all tuned into you at some point during the day. 🙂

  5. I watched your webcast of the transit from start to finish (with a few breaks here and there). What a great job you guys did! Fascinating, funny and I learned a lot in the process. Thank you for your efforts, and I too look forward to other webcasts from Keck.

  6. Had the pleasure of your expertise at the visitor’s center on 5/20 – new moon. Your enthusiasm is contagious. Will now find the instructions for my son’s telescope and try to figure what is what (it’s computer driven). What a treat to see the Southern Cross and North Star on the same night! Bravo, Andrew!

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