Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wherefore Art Thou Venus?


A transit by a planet across the disk of the Sun is rare. After being clear all day, some late afternoon clouds formed and hung around a few hours while Venus made its trek across the Sun. Tonight as I waited for the Sun to dive from the cloud deck as it neared sundown, I was hoping that a perfect orange sphere could be seen with a tiny black dot. This was not the case here in 42N land.


At sundown I was in contact with a fellow astronomer in Rochester, Minnesota. He had perfect weather and sophisticated equipment to do some direct magnified viewing of the Sun and Venus.
I parked in a bank parking lot that afforded a great western sky view. While on the phone, this Marion police car rolled up behind a truck just in front of me. At first I thought it was a SWAT attack but apparently the pull over was for a traffic violation. The real One Adam 12 crime was Venus not being seen during this transit from here. I guess I will have to instruct the future great grandchildren to view it in 2117.