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  • Writer's pictureFlamsteed Astronomy Society

‘Transit of Venus’ on Blackheath

The crowd gathers on Blackheath (Pic by Mike Dryland)

Grey makes final adjustments to the 90mm Coronado (Pic by Mike Dryland)

Around 140 people gathered on Blackheath at 4.30am on the morning of 6 June 2012 to observe The Transit of Venus. With a thick bank of billowing slate grey cloud to the east, it was not a promising start. Never one to be put off, I unpacked the car which was loaded with Coronado telescopes of varying size together with motorised mounts, tripods, a table and literature.

Flamsteed members enthusiastically transported and assembled the telescopes which mingled with other equipment belonging to visitors from far and wide. As a large group with single purpose, we stood expectantly beneath a cloud streaked sky. There was a great sense of occasion and much excitement as the minutes passed. With light levels increasing rapidly people clustered around various telescopes. The Sun strengthened and then dimmed as bands of cloud moved eastward repeatedly raising hopes.

A fleeting glance of the transit just before 3rd contact. This image won the ‘Our Solar System’ category at the Astronomy Photographer of the Year awards 2012 (Pic by Chris Warren)