VenusTransit 2012

Some of the fellows and I from the Cleveland County Astronomical Society travelled up to the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Craggy Gardens overlook (mile marker 364.4) to observe and image the Venus Transit. I don't do much solar imaging so this was sort of like shooting from the hip, but I am pretty happy with the results. Nature was not so kind as the event was clouded out during First Contact. As the clouds began to clear I managed this shot. So instead of "First Contact" we can call this "First Glimpse" at 18:14 EDT (my times are +/- two minutes).

Second Contact was around 18:23 EDT.

Progressing at 18:40 EDT.

Clouds really became an issue as one big one seemed to hang there and attempt to ruin the show. It gave us enough of a break to have some dinner and chew the fat. Later at 19:57 EDT, I grabbed this shot. The sun is starting to get low and showing some color.

I took over 200 shots and these are just some of the best ones. Most of the cloudy shots were uninteresting, but I thought this one had a neat look to it; taken at 20:26 EDT. It was around this time that I commented that I thought the sun was starting to look ellipticle and really showing color.

At this point I put a 500mm catidioptric lens on the camera for a wider field view. It was a challenge attempting to get the colorful clouds and not wash out Venus on the solar disk. This was my best attempt at that balance; taken at 20:41 EDT.

Here is a crop just before sunset at 20:44 EDT.

Not the Venus Transit, but a bonus pic of Glassmine Falls along the BRP taken on the way to the site with the 500mm lens. Visually these falls where no larger than the width of your thumb held out at arms length. I think this lens just may be sharp enough for some astrophotography!