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Transit of Venus

Today was a big day for astronomers. It marked the last transit of Venus until 2117. In Rockford, the Rockford Amateur Astronomers gathered at Lockwood Park to share their high powered telescopes with the public for a safe viewing of the event.

People line up to watch the transit of Venus through Walter Piorkowski’s four inch refracting telescope Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at Lockwood Park in Rockford. According to NASA, the next transit of Venus won’t be until 2117. MAX GERSH/ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR ©2012

Indanasha Drucejones, 9, of Rockford, watches the transit of Venus through a telescope Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at Lockwood Park in Rockford. According to NASA, the next transit of Venus won’t be until 2117. MAX GERSH/ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR ©2012

Khalil Hayes, 10, of Rockford, watches the transit of Venus through a telescope Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at Lockwood Park in Rockford. According to NASA, the next transit of Venus won’t be until 2117. MAX GERSH/ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR ©2012

Barry Beaman, the Astronomical League Correspondent for the Rockford Amateur Astronomers, watches the transit of Venus Tuesday through his telescope, June 5, 2012, at Lockwood Park in Rockford. According to NASA, the next transit of Venus won’t be until 2117. MAX GERSH/ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR ©2012

One astronomer helped me get a better view by guiding my lens up to the eye piece of his four inch refracting telescope. I couldn’t hold still enough to view the whole sun through my lens but I thought the image turned out pretty cool anyways. It was just neat to see something that won’t happen again for another 105 years.

The transit of Venus is seen through the eye piece of Walter Piorkowski’s four inch refracting telescope Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at Lockwood Park in Rockford. According to NASA, the next transit of Venus won’t be until 2117. MAX GERSH/ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR ©2012

When I got back to the office, I decided to try one more shot with the same setup I used to photograph the solar eclipse last month. A 300mm f/2.8, 2x teleconverter and a 1.4 teleconverter. I had a total focal length of about 840mm. I shot at ISO 50, f/64 at 1/8000 sec. It was a still over exposed. You clearly need some sort of neutral density filtration which I did not have. But you could still see Venus.

The transit of Venus seen Tuesday, June 5, 2012, from downtown Rockford. According to NASA, the next transit of Venus won’t be until 2117. MAX GERSH/ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR ©2012

If I’m lucky, I’ll be around to try again next time.

Make every picture count
Solar eclipse over downtown Rockford
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