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Transit of Venus, 6th June 2012.

None of us will ever see another one in our lifetimes. Memorable!

Sarah shows us that a simple digital camera can take very good quality pictures:

Outside Forgan Smith buiding, equipment set up for a day of solar astronomy.

***WARNING*** Never look directly at the Sun to observe a transit, solar eclipse or sun spots. Consult an expert. Use a telescope properly configured for solar viewing. Use goggles certified as safe for solar viewing.***NEVER*** improvise with sunglasses or other filters. ***BEWARE*** of cheap telescopes and filters. Only use equipment from a reputable supplier. Safe viewing instructions are provided by NASA and Exploratorium. I (webmaster) have personal experience with the method described as "projecting the image with binoculars". It works well.

Viewing instructions are here: NASA Exploratorium

Prof Drinkwater adjusting the Solarscope, a clever gizmo for making solar observations.
(transits, eclipses and sun spots)

Another happy customer... and future astronomer. That big bright thing in the sky is ...

The van full of equipment to do the screaming video over the internet.

Aqeel puts the "amateur" into amateur astronomy:

The blurrrrrsh is the Sun and the smurrrridge is Venus.

People travelled from... many meters away to witness the astronomical spectacle.

Here it is, "Venus in the Sun" as Horrox said in 1639.

The other "blotches" are sunspots, not dirt on the lens.

A telescope projecting an image onto a screen.

As Lady MacBeth said... Out, out, damn spot! It will be gone soon enough :(

Kurt, in his own words, "was with Venus":

All the telescopes seem to be pointing in the same direction?

The Solarscope shows what is made of. (Cardboard)
Another telescope projecting an image onto a screen.

Ever reliable David Barry had a look:

This is what you get when a surveyor moonlights (?) as an astronomer.
Image projected with the telescope of a theodolite.

Hmmm... A disadvantage of the Solarscope. There is a 'scope in my Solar!

The Met Bureau did say "fine with clouds"....

...but they didn't rain on our parade too much.

It is a characteristic of astronomy that a lot of the sky is just plain... dark.

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