Venus Transit With The APO

The Venus Transit event put on by the wonderful people of the Adirondack Public Observatory went off with a bang! It really turned out to be a great day, and there were so many people that showed up for the event. I’d like to thank the people of the APO for putting on the event, and all the people that showed up to the event. You helped make it a fun and enjoyable time.
The skies weren’t exactly clear, even up to 5pm – an hour before the transit started. But we setup on the beach anyway, and at the Wild Center. We were prepared for it to clear, and we were prepared with indoor events in case the clouds didn’t clear. Luckily we were blessed with clear skies from a few minutes before the transit started, right up until the sun set. After sunset the clouds slowly rolled in, and I drove through three heavy downpours on the way from Tupper Lake back to Plattsburgh.
For all images, click to enlarge.
As we were setting up on Little Wolf Beach people started coming in, much quicker than I had expected. There was quite the turnout on the beach, with many people interested in the event asking questions. Unfortunately by the time I got to Saranac Lake I wanted to get a picture on the side of the road, but then realized my point and shoot camera battery was still on the charger at home. Good thing I had my cell phone to grab a few pictures of people at the event.
At times I had quite a line building up around my telescope, people of all ages from children to seniors all seemed to be impressed with what they were seeing. Lots of “ooohs” and “aaaahs” from everyone. I’m just happy that I was a part of it. This was my first time involved in an event like this, and I have to say I loved every second of it. I also got my first look through a Personal Solar Telescope which was very cool to see some solar prominence as Venus was trekking along the face of the sun. There was also a table top dobsonian, a 10″ dobsonian, and an 8″ dobsonian telescope on the beach.
I don’t know what I did in order to miscount how many images I took for each stack, but I ended up with way more than 30 images per stack like I had planned. Glad I got more images than I had planned, it really helped sharpen up the images when stacking and editing them to really bring out Venus, and the sunspots that were visible.
The first image is comprised of 53 images, the second is 61, and the third is also 61. All pictures were taken at ISO200, and a shutter speed of 1/4000 prime focus with a white light filter. As the sun got closer to the horizon you can see that even through the white light filter the sun became a pretty orange color. Images stacked in Registax, and cropped in Gimp.
Here is a time lapse of the sun setting behind some mountains with Venus still in transit. Short 7 second video, best viewed full screen in HD.

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