|Venus transiting the sun as it sets behind the telescopes of Kitt Peak. Image (c) 2012 David A Harvey, used with permission.|
Here at Texas A&M University - Commerce, we had an open house at our observatory. Roughly 150 people came, which is absolutely amazing. We had to fight some clouds - the transit started behind a thunderstorm, and the last hour that the sun was still up it was hidden behind clouds, and there were enough clouds we closed down early and didn't stay up to view the night sky. But those who braved the heat and waited out the clouds were treated to quite the spectacle.
All of my images were taken with an iPhone held up to an eyepiece. Most of these photos were lousy, but a few came out okay!
|The beginning of the transit was hidden behind a cumulonimbus (thunderstorm cloud). Thankfully we didn't get rain. Image credit: Professor Astronomy|
|Some of the early crowd at Commerce Observatory. The sun was still playing hide-and-seek with the thunderstorms at this time. Image credit: Professor Astronomy|
|Finally, a good view! I took this picture through a pair of binoculars with solar filters. Image credit: Professor Astronomy|
|An image of the sun and Venus through a Coronado Solar Telescope. These telescopes only let light corresponding to hydrogen atoms come through, which allow the viewer to see activity on the sun. Around the edge of the sun you can see some prominences. The brighter regions are called faculae and are related to sunspots. Image credit: Dr. Kent Montgomery / Texas A&M University - Commerce|
|This image was taken by the sun-observing satellite Hinode, a joint NASA/Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency mission. The picture is in a wavelength of ultraviolet light that highlights solar activity. The yellow ring around Venus is real and caused by Venus's atmosphere bending light. Image Credit: NASA/JAXA|
|This image was also taken by the sun-observing satellite Hinode, a joint NASA/Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency mission. The picture is in visible light. The ring around Venus is real and caused by Venus's atmosphere bending light. Image Credit: NASA/JAXA|
|A movie of the Venus transit as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, an orbiting satellite. This movie is taken in ultraviolet light, which shows the Sun's activity. As the movie plays, watch for mini solar flares and other changes in the sun.|
Venus has moved on; it is now visible in the early morning sky just before sunrise (it's moving fast!). I guess it is time to leave this fun and rare event behind, too, and move on to more astronomy!