Monday, June 11, 2012

Transit of the Sun

You knew I'm a bit of a space buff, right? It's common knowledge in our little family that I am thwarted in my every attempt to witness any event of astronomical significance. Solar eclipse? Cloudy. Lunar eclipse? Cloudy. Meteor shower? Cloudy. Once, when Matt and I were dating back in college, I dragged him out to the middle of a field a few miles outside of Ft. Worth to view a comet (among other nefarious plans), but since then, I've viewed most significant astronomical events via streaming webcam.

Finally, however, Matt rehabilitated his reputation for ruining space for me by coming with me and the girls to the top story of a parking garage next to the university (I love these odd little nooks that we find to enjoy the sky from!), where the university's astronomy department was hosting a viewing party.

There was, of course, a LONG line to look through the telescopes, but fortunately the top floor of a parking garage, cleared of cars, is actually a pretty terrific place for a couple of kids to play:

The astronomy department also gave us something that is my new most very favorite toy ever:

Funny little glasses, eh? And what can you do with those?

See? My most favorite toy ever!

After off-and-on periods of huge clouds, during which we all held the line very patiently, Venus was at the perfect point in her transit as we finally reached the telescope--away from the edge of the sun, fully evident as the amazing phenomenon that it was:

Even my nice camera, even with a sun filter, isn't capable of photographing the transit--Venus is simply too small, and though it's visible to the naked eye, it's completely overwhelmed by the sun's light--but my nice camera, with its sun filter, and with much playing around with digital filters in Lightroom (just like the REAL astronauts do it!...sort of), IS capable of taking some excellent and interesting photographs of the sun:

You can see the corona really well in this photo:

This one gives you a better idea about the color range:

Sort of a combination photo, also with a good corona:

This one pulls out a lot more information about the available light than is available to the naked eye, although I couldn't get rid of the green tone:

This one is my favorite, because the color is the most realistic, while still keeping the extra evidence of light that allows you to see the larger corona:

And now that Matt has given up his jinxing of all my attempts to view astronomical events, the summer's meteor showers are looking up, as well!

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails