Transit of Venus

An Eccentric Anomaly: Ed Davies's Blog

This morning Venus transited the Sun. From here in Tongue only the last hour and a bit could possibly have been visible starting at sunrise at around 03:20Z (04:20 BST).

Frankly, the chances were fairly slim that the weather would co-operate but, given the excellent skies we had for the 2003 Transit of Mercury and 2004 Transit of Venus it seemed churlish not to at least give it a try.

After a quick practice session the other day I felt ready to observe, if not necessarily record, the transit. I did consider finding a spectacular spot for viewing, perhaps Dunnet Head, but given the likely bad weather settled on a patch of grass by a cattle grid on the main road across the moorlands to the NE of my current home.

I went to bed straight after dinner with nearly clear skies — just a few scattered clouds and something a bit more towering and ominous to the SW. When I got up around 23:40Z (00:40 BST) it was much cloudier and the satellite pictures were showing large areas of cloud to the south moving northwards. I spent a couple of hours following the transit on Twitter, reading blogs, installing KStars on my netbook and so on.

At about sunrise the sky still looked completely obscured but it just about seemed worth a try to go out in case there was a small hole to the NE which I couldn't see through the hills to the east of the house.

No such luck. I hung around for 20 minutes or so but it really didn't look like there was much chance of a change. Here's a view to the north:

However, Richard from Wycombe Astronomical Society had a little bit more luck only about 50 km to the east of here. Sounds heroic. Maybe I should have gone over there but there's no way to know that sort of thing in advance.