Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Best Astronomical Occurrence

I was pretty excited about our chance to see Transit of Venus yesterday as Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon's first assignment together was to observe the transit from Sumatra.  Their ship was attacked by the French shortly after entering the English channel so they had to return to London, re-equip, and at that point were too short on time to make it to Sumatra, so they went and observed from South Africa instead.

So, yeah, I was pretty glad I might be able to see it by just going outside.

New York was awfully overcast yesterday, early on in the transit hours I went outside with my coworkers David and Rodrigo to try to see it but we couldn't make out the sun through our pair of Sun-watching glasses.

After work, hoping against hope, I joined Jeff and Chaunte and a fellow named James who had a ton of  sun-watching glasses in Prospect Park to try one more time to see the transit.  Cloud cover was intense, but we could see some gaps in them to the north.  We stood and waited, hoping the clouds would head south faster then the sun would dip out of view.

And then, blammo!  10 minutes of prime Venus-viewing time.  We happily shared glasses with curious joggers passing by, it felt good to make sure as many of our fellow men could see this once in a lifetime (or two) sight.

Spotted at 1 o'clock (the location, not the time) the planet looked like if you get a speck of dust on your camera's sensor.  (Nerdy comparison? But that's exactly how it looked). 

So yeah, see you in 2117, Transit!

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