Transit of Venus - 6 June 2012
The Transit is now over - the lucky ones amongst us saw all of it under clear skies, most of it saw a few minutes of it through monsoon clouds, and some of us didn't see it at all. There was, however, fantastic live coverage on television, so we hope all of you have seen the Transit atleast vicariously !
Transit of Venus from the GMRT campus
There were quite a few of us volunteers ready with 4 telescopes, some with filters and some with eyepieces for projections and 4 ball-mirrors and dark rooms set up on the field using poster boards. The clouds were heavy all night and all morning. Still, roughly 300 students had come to the campus, with their teachers. We waited. And watched the live telecast on tv. And waited some more. And watched the live telecast on tv. And waited yet some more.
Finally, towards the very end, at 3rd contact, at 10.02 or so, the clouds just in front of the Sun thinned out a little bit. Expecting such a last minute possibility, we still had our scopes ready. The clouds were too thick to let mylar filters on the telescopes, or the eclipse glasses work. They were also too thick for projections from the smaller scopes. However, Abhishek managed to catch the projection through the full aperture of a 10" Newtonian on to a piece of paper !
So we did, some 30-40 of us, manage to see the Transit for a minute or so, before the clouds came back. It was beautiful and gave us some idea of how magnificient it would have been if the sky had been completely clear. Still, we were happy that we indeed managed to see the Transit, even if briefly. Especially since we weren't going to wait around for the next one !
Avadhut Joglekar, a staff at GMRT, and Saurabh Patel, a VSRP student at NCRA, actually managed to photograph Venus through the clouds ! We know there are brilliant photos elsewhere on the internet from other places, but after the initial hours of frustration and dissapointment, these photos make us happy ! There you see - Venus - just before it leaves the Sun's disk, not to return again for another 105 years ...
The first photo is by Joglekar and the second is by Patil.
Elsewhere in Pune
The city of Pune was incredibly cloudy as well.However the clouds thinned at around 9 am, and people were able to photograph it, as well as see it in projection for a brief while from the University campus. It was less cloudy from Bund Garden bridge, where the public seem to have caught Venus in projection, intermittently and through clouds, from 8.45 to 9.30.
Pictures from all over the world, all incredibly beautiful ones, are here !
(The rest of the original information follows ... )
The Transit of Venus will occur on the morning of June 6th 2012 (on the evening of June 5th for the Americas). This is the last transit for the next 105 years, so be sure to see it !
NCRA has published a comic on the Transit of Venus, in 14 languages ! These are through a Creative Commons License, so please distribute it, email to friends, host it on your site, print it, photocopy it, paste it on walls, etc !
Below are some useful links ... if you have more links, information etc, please email
- Download the comic on Transit of Venus in 14 languages
- How do I see the Transit of Venus safely ?
- Preparatory 'Daytime Astronomy' workshop at GMRT on May 29
- Websites with information on the Transit of Venus
- Where can I go see the Transit ?
- Live broadcasts of the Transit
- Pictures, videos, articles on seeing the Transit of Venus