2012 Venus Transit

The 2012 Venus transit was visible from Ottawa and we've been blessed with clear skies. This event, when Venus gets in the way between the Earth and the Sun occurs twice every ~100 years and this transit was the last one before 2117.

About 40 of us observed the transit with the telescope, binoculars and special filters.  Several nice pictures were taken, here we see the Sun and Venus on the left.  Most of the black spots on the Sun are sunspots.

2012 Venus Transit

 Here's a collection of pictures taken at different time of the transit.

Transit different time


This pictures has been taken by Ryan Killick, the whole Sun and Venus.  Again, sunspots are clearly visible.

Venus Transit

Finally, we tried to project the image of the Sun using binoculars.  It allowed everybody to look at the transit safely at the same time and several people got a snapshot of it.  Here's Kate Whalen's picture.  Scratches on the pictures are due to the observatory door used as a projection screen, we ran out of time to find something more uniform.

Transit Projection

We'll have to wait more than 100 years to see it happen again!

Mars - As close as it will get this year

On March 5, 2012, Mars was as close as Earth as it will get this year.  I decided to confront the cold weather and try to take a picture of it.  The sky was clear (a rare thing this year) and it happened that I took a picture exactly at the time it was the closest (to the minute).


You can see a hint of a polar cap at the top.  It's real.  You can compare my image with the one taken with more experienced astronomer, on the same day, one hour after me: