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I watched the Venus transit from this afternoon to this evening along with Richard and Scott who come over to join me.
I started to setup at about 2:00 and was ready to go by the time Venus started to crest the limb of the Sun. It was cool watching it begin to chip away at the Sun. Just as it started to do that, the clouds came in and hid the Sun. When they cleared, Venus was about 3/4 of the way past the limb and I was looking forward to watching the full disk come in front. Just as the two limbs of each disk came together and Venus was about to pull away, the clouds came in again... doh! I was really looking forward to observing that. When the clouds parted again that moment had passed. We watched for the next few hours as it slowly inched it's way across the disk.
It was very cool watching the transit. I watched it from 3:00 til 7:00 with both an H-alpha scope (Coronado PST) and a white light filter on my Vixen ED103s. Having the scopes side by side was just great.
The Sun was very active with may sunspots and solar prominences. A real treat - particularly since, based on the forecast, we thought we'd miss it altogether like the annular eclipse the other week.
At some point, Richard busted out a point and shoot camera and pointed it down the eyepiece. We started taking all kinds of pictures trying to get a decent shot. The eyepiece projection stuff just wasn't doing what we could actually see in the scope justice. Kind of like observing Saturn or Jupiter and then trying to shoot it. It just doesn't work very well.
However, with a whole bunch of tries, I eventually got a halfway decent shot through both the H-alpha scope and the white light. A captured memory of what we saw today that we can share with others. Very cool.
It was a thrill to just watch it go for hours. The clouds would come and go a bit, but that only made it more exciting - when they parted we were like... "It's back!" and we could watch again. What a great experience.

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