Dual Mount Venus Transit
By Erika Rix (Venus Transit)
Animation from eyepiece sketch while plotting the transit: http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa201/ErikaGRix/2012-venus-transit.gif
Link to report and photos: http://pcwobservatory.com/2012/06/07/2012-june-056-venus-transit/
I set up my dual mounting rig for both white light and h-alpha and my husband set up his LX200 with a white light filter as well. We picked a spot in the front field to optimize the horizon for sunset. I had already utilized my sky planning tools so that I knew when and where first contact would be for my scopes and had templates on two different clipboards to record my observations, one for white light and one for h-alpha. Paul had my Canon EOS DSLR Rebel hooked up to the LX200 for his imaging session. In the mean time, temperatures had gone up to 101.3 F.
The countdown began and at 2205 UT (1705 CDT) first contact was made on the NE solar limb. Just as it bit a little more into the disk, the first cloud rolled across my view preventing me from witnessing the progression into (and including) second contact. It was disappointing as I wanted to recreate Capt. Cook’s and Charles Green’s observation/sketches from 1769. My first instinct was to view first contact through h-alpha in an attempt to view more of Venus’ disk prior to transiting in front of the limb, but the transparency was bad and seeing was moderate so thought I would stick with white light for a crisp “entry”. Due to the dual mounting system, I could easily switch between the two filter systems in the first few minutes of contact.
The observation session ended at 0030 UT on June 6th, 2012 when a large cloud obscured our view and would be there well after Sunset. I was very grateful for the opportunity to witness this transit and the memories of it will last a lifetime.