At first last night it didn’t look promising to view the transit of Venus across the sun. As dozens of astronomers were setting up, the skies were cloudy.
Dozens of people started arriving, to wander among the scopes and binoculars. The clouds began to clear away and first views were registered.
Lots of excitement and people crowding around STARDOC’s sunspotter, where you would be able to capture a photograph of what you would see through the safely protected equipment that the Howard Astronomical League (HAL) members had set up across the Conservancy meadow.
I came in to take a picture of what I had viewed using a number of different scopes and binoculars around the field.
Then, as things progressed, the sun came out below a cloud cover and lit up the area.
Lots of viewing for quite a long time until the sun finally fell below a cloud cover on the western horizon, but it was certainly bright out there for long enough to capture some great views. The sheer numbers and sizes of all the scopes were incredible, and everyone got opportunities to view. The HAL members are such wonderful people, giving their time and sharing their equipment with the hundreds of people who attended.
Many people there had never heard of the Conservancy and they were interested in the trails, the events, the walks and the gardens, asking the three of us who volunteered that night countless questions about using the facilities, hiking the trails and coming to events. I had to refill the kiosk with trail maps and give out rental brochures to a couple of potential wedding rental queries.
It was a win-win event for HAL and the Conservancy, and I was happy to volunteer a few hours to park a few hundred cars. I recorded another picture of what I had seen.
Recorded the sunny finish of the event.
This event is the first of many in the month of June at the Conservancy, which also includes an event sponsored by the Columbia Festival of the Arts. Check out the upcoming events page and come out to a lovely site in Woodstock. This weekend is the monthly free wonder walk, Saturday at 10 am.
Don’t wait for the next solar event, but also keep in mind the August meteor showers, Night Sky/Dark Sky: The Perseid Meteor Showers on August 12th.