Posted on June 5, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
When planets align
With a 400 mm lens and a specially made filter, Summit County astrophotographer Daniel McVey captured a few images of a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event, as Venus moved across the face of the sun. Click on the image to visit photographer Daniel McVey’s website. The smaller black dots are sunspots on the face of the sun.
Photos by Daniel McVey
SUMMIT COUNTY —Every once in a long while, our nearest planetary neighbor passes directly between Earth and the sun. Perhaps not as dramatic as a total solar or lunar eclipse, but of significance to sky watchers nonetheless because of its relative rarity. The next transit of Venus isn’t until 2117, so if you missed it today, you’re out of luck, unless someone invents a longevity potion. Here’s the NASA web page for the transit: http://venustransit.nasa.gov/2012/transit/.
Along with giving a sense of the size of the sun, this rare event helped astronomers calculate the distance between the Earth and the sun.
The 2004 transit, as seen by NASA’s solar-observing TRACE satellite. NASA/TRACE.
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Posted on June 2, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
About one-third of moon’s face will be blocked by Earth’s shadow
A NASA file image from a past eclipse previews what sky watchers may see June 4.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — As part of a triple play for backyard sky watchers, this Monday morning (June 4) will deliver a partial lunar eclipse, when the earth’s shadow will block a little more than one-third of the moon’s face. Visit this NASA web page for details.
The string of celestial events started May 20 with a solar eclipse visible in wide swaths of the West, and continues with the June 5 – 6 transit of Venus, when the solar system’s second planet crosses between the earth and the sun.
The last lunar eclipse visible in the western U.S. was just a few months ago — Dec. 9, to be exact, when sky watchers with a clear view of the western horizon were able to see a total eclipse of the lunar orb. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, seasons, world news | Tagged: astronomy, June 4 lunar eclipse, partial lunar eclipse, transit of Venus | Leave a Comment »