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6/05/2012

Transit of Venus in Utah Part I Storm Fleers

This will be a two part entry.  The first one will be by me, and the second one I've asked my son to post a guest piece about our trip to observe the transit of Venus.

Today I had training for work so I got out of it at 2:00p.m. and headed home.  I talked on the phone to my friend Mat and I was hoping to be able to observe from home.  At home, I rested, talked with my other friend Jeff, and cleaned up a few things and then waited for my son to finish his voice lesson at his teacher's house.  After his return, I talked again with my friend Jeff and then we left to try and find the sun after trying in the backyard and realizing that it just wasn't going to happen.  We drove and I tried a park in Bluffdale I know but we were about 15 minutes to late.  So I drove down to Lehi, Utah, to  the new Mountain View Corridor that connects I-15 to Redwood Rd. and at a new elementary set up and we were able to observe for almost an hour the transit of Venus on the Sun. While here the winds really started to blow and as I talked with Mat on the phone, I said that it was like we were storm chasers and Mat had a reply and Nathan changed it to Storm Fleers.  From here we went to east to the city of Highland where in the Smith's parking lot we were able to get in about 20 minutes of a view.

We then came home and after eating dinner, I talked with Jeff again and the Sun came back out and I showed the transit to my son's two friends and to Mat's two sons.  In truth, these views were probably the best we had of the transit all day with little wind, the clouds breaking and good periods of good seeing.  However, I had a wonderful time fleeing the clouds and storm with my son, driving and his companionship and his conversation.  In the end, though many aspects of this hobby are individual, it is the human connections that we make that perhaps are the most memorable. I guess  there is no place like home!

Mat's sons and Nathan's friends stayed for a while and I enjoyed the conversation with both set of young men and it made sharing the view that much more enjoyable. It was nice to hear my son's friend talk about bringing a date to the Herriman Star Party on the 4th Friday as I think it is wonderful to see young people interested in astronomy around us. Finally the Sun sunk behind a cloud bank and that banks was thick and it was right above the mountain so that meant the end of observing the transit for us.  I took some pictures or attempted to and I'll share them here.




Here is one of the Sun in the eyepiece but I wasn't able to get it with any details of Venus on it. 









 This is one that reflects what many of us struggled with today at some point here in Utah.  The clouds.  Nevertheless I really like the image of the clouds going in front of the Sun in this picture. All images taken in the Chuck Hards Solar scope with a 20mm 68 degree Explore Scientific eyepiece.







 GOTCHA! A little bit of clouds,  and that black dot, it's Venus!







One more over exposed shot for the fun of it of the Sun.






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