The Astronomical Event of the century -The Transit of Venus

By sundarmn; Published 07 Jun 2012

The entire world was waiting for this event that wouldn't occur until next century. People were planning their trips to places where the event would be fully visible since the year 2012 beagan. Yes, it was the Transit of Venus. An event that was much anticipated and awaited for.
For us Indians, there were two issues ligering at the back of the mind;
1. The Transit would've begun by the time Sun rised in most parts of India except for some eastern states.
2. The most important issue- it's monsson time here in India and especially south India.
Would these two factors affect the Transit watching in India?? was major question among all. Regardless of these things Amateur astronomers, astronomy enthusiasts began preparations. My preparations began way before a month. Attending as many workshops as possible, gaining as much knowledge as possible and trying to evolve my own versions of different methods of oberving the Transit.

I physically attended the informal workshop conducted by BAS at Jaaga on 20th May,2012, while i got a lot of info from many of my friends and lecutrers who attended the workshops at J.N.Planetarium, Birla institute of fundamental research and so on. With Naveen sir help i was working on getting a  sun funnel/tunnel. This would help me view the transit much easily and safely with my 3" reflector scope.

As the deadline for transit was nearing one of my friends was ready to lend his DSLR and i decided to try photographing transit. I did not have an adaptor that would connect the cam and the scope so i knew direct images wouldn't be significantly good. But still to be on safer side i bougth the Bader filter that BAS had arranged for.
A couple of my classmates joined me for the Transit session which was done on my rooftop, from where i can

conveniently watch almost the Horizon. I doubted the climatic condition as the monsoon had approached Kerala the previous day and took the pain of getting up at 3.30am to watch the webcast from Mauna Loa, Hawaii. And by 6.30 am i took all the equipments and had them arranged but the overcast did disappoint a little.  But it seemed like there was a lot of wind which assured me that the sky would either clear completely in a while or would open up small windows for a few mins that would enable us watch the Transit happily. And thanks to wind it did same as i expected.

We had an Orion 4" reflector, 3" reflector, Olympus 15X80 binoculars all with sun funnels to watch the Transit through the projection method yes. I had made a couple of adaptors of Solar filter to try photography. We even had the eclipse goggles that werent of any use for the event and we also had a ball-mirror projection setup ready just in case. We had great fun watching the trasit for small durations when the sky gave us a small window for few minutes. Whenever the sky didn't give a chance we sat and watched the live webcasts from different parts.

Equipments : Orion 4" reflector, 3" reflector scopes,
Method of viewing: Mostly projection method - sun funnel and ball-mirror projection.
No of watchers : limited with around 10 people.

Atlast we are in a position to boast that we did something to see a celestial event that people for next 100 years cannot do. Worth spending so much of time preapring and watching though the two factors that i mentioned earlier did affect the watching to some extent.

I've tried to edit the pics that had come out pretty well using GIMP and below is the link pls take time off to see them and comment on them with your suggestions/advices etc.

Here is the link.