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John O'Neal has been an avid AMATEUR ASTRONOMER and astrophotographer for over 40 years. In 2007 he built an observatory and began imaging the sun. In 2012 he, along with fellow imagers, the Shivaks founded a social media site for solar imagers which has grown to include over 25,000 members worldwide and offers up to the minute amateur and pro images of our closest star from around the globe.
John is a NASA Solar System Ambassador, member of and contributor to ALPO and the AAVSO. His images can be found on his numerous websites, on MASA, ASTROBIN, PHOTOGRAPHING SPACE.com, FLICKR and on the SOLARACTIVITY FB site. (See the LINKS Tab.)
He has also authored numerous tutorials on solar imaging and has given countless presentations to the general public and to amateur and pro astronomers over the years. Most recently he has presented at SOLARFEST 2016, in Missouri, BOBFEST 2017 in NC, NEAIC 2017 in NY and Tri-Star 2017 in NC. His most recent solar star party contributions were at the Tri-Star event in NC, The Astronomy on the National Mall event in Washington DC which drew over 10,000 guests, and the Solar Star Party and Eclipse Presentation in Smiths Ferry, Idaho with over 4,000 participants..
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On a whim last weekend I went to Calsky and checked to see if the ISS would be transiting the Sun in my area. I selected a 100mile radius assuming I would probably have to travel to see one of these somewhat rare events. Well, you can imagine my surprise to learn that a transit would be taking place less than 20miles from me in only 3 days. This blog entry will unfold the sequence of events that took place next.
Having never done this before I decided I had…