Venus Transit 2012

by Joe Bergeron

I was lucky to see anything of this transit at all. The weather forecast showed nothing but rain and clouds for days on end, and recent weather gave no cause for optimism. The day of the transit was dark and cloudy, with only a few tantalizing sunbeams sneaking though. But, various sources said there would be a break at transit time, so I dutifully set up two telescopes, my 92mm f/6.5 Stowaway refractor for photography, and a short 3" achromat for visual. Both scopes were equipped with Baader filters. The Stowaway carried my Olympus Pen EPL-2 camera body.

I had barely finished setting up when the blue areas in the north reached the sun and revealed the transit, with Venus just barely fully onto the solar disk. From then until the sun set about two hours later I had an almost uninterrupted view. Sometimes broken clouds crossed the sun, but they provided moodier, more dramatic photo opportunities than the cloudless periods.

Minutes after sunset the clouds returned with a vengeance, bringing spectacular colors, a brilliant rainbow, and a heavy rain that sent me running to get my equipment to shelter. What a remarkable day! Here are some of the best of the many photos I shot.