|06/2004 Venus Transit|
Public Observing of the Venus transit on 8th June
The EAAS were at the Seven Towers roundabout, Ballymena, County Antrim for the entire Venus transit which began at 0519GMT through to 1124GMT. In the first 2 hours, we had a surprising number of visitors and many going to work, stopping by and having a look. The first early birds arrived at 6:45am !!!
The SolarScope is now part of the EAAS solar observing equipment and a very valuable asset for transits and solar eclipses.
Resident astrophotographer, Mark Stronge with his 10" Meade LX200. In the far right photo, our youngest member Christopher Gault is setting up his telescope which he used to capture an excellent sunspot image recently.
Many crowds of people came throughout the day to catch a glimpse of the transit. In the far right photo, Aaron Hunter, new member to the EAAS and also the only person to capture any image of the transit.
From the oldest to the youngest, we all took note of this planetary alignment and felt quite privileged to observe it as it happened.
A family from County Kildare joined us for the excitment of the chase.
The weather for 1st and 2nd contact was variable and we managed to see a half disk before the clouds thickened again. During the transit, Venus was visible in many short bursts and there was frantic shouts and exclamations of success in viewing this rare astronomical event before the clouds rolled in again. The public and EAAS members were out in force of which all got to see the transit live and also via a webcast from Norway. The webcast from Ballymena was dissappointing as the short bursts of clear seeing did not give enough time for any photographs to be captured or broadcast. One photo was captured mid transit by Aaron Hunter, one of our new members, and it is pictured below.
Thanks go out to the 5,000 people who visited the website on 8th June (nearly 7000 page views) looking for a live webcast of the Venus transit. I hope you clicked through from our link to the Norwegian webcasts which had 95% success. This sheer number of people on the website in only a few hours is quite astonishing and trumps our previous busiest day from the Lunar Eclipse last November. Thankyou for visiting and I hope you will be back soon.