Looking at the LAS 2012 calendar the club published and sold this year, you may have notice two line items for June 5, 2012. The first is the regular monthly meeting of the LAS, followed by the Transit of Venus. I compliment the club founders on their foresight on choosing the first Tuesday of each month in order for this rare event to fall on the same day. That’s advance planning at its finest.
The viewing time circumstance of this transit is opposite of the June 8, 2004 event that was seen by the club members during sunrise. A hardy group gather before sunrise, ready their scopes and filters to witness the planet Venus against the solar background as the Sun rose on that summer morning. They were not disappointed for their efforts, with the added bonus of seeing Venus without the use of filters as the Sun rose in a low fog bank. We watched the end of the transit as Venus exit from in front of the solar surface.
In 2012 the Transit of Venus be visible in our location during the late afternoon into early evening hours. Approximately 2.5 hours before sunset Venus will begin transiting the Sun, appearing on the solar limb at 6:03 pm EDT. The altitude of the Sun at that time is 25.7 degrees from the western horizon.
More information about the Venus Transit and safe viewing of the transit can be found on these web sites.
Information about the Transit of Venus will be the topic of the regular meeting on May 1, 2012. Those bring scopes to view or photograph the transit should park in the field near the LAS roll off observatory. The time that the gate will open will be anounce at the meeting and in the future e-mail to club members.