The Venus Week in June 2012

Jean-Luc Dighaye

In the beginning of June 2012, Venus appeared as a thin crescent as it was approaching the Sun. I took some visible and near-infrared images from POR less than 4 days before the Transit of Venus (ToV) in front of the Sun.

On 6th June, coordinated observations of the ToV were planned at the Skybar, starting 5 am. Such an early session nonetheless attracted several seasoned observers and newcomers. Many well-prepared children showed commendable enthusiasm, even though the weather was terrible at sunrise: the Sun was hardly visible behind rain curtains.

"The Moon!". Giancarlo Tomezzoli had spotted it in a clearing, and the children rushed to see it through a spotting scope.

In the hope that the clearing would move to the Sun's region, telescopes were set up for photographic and visual use. Children had prepared their own innovative instruments...

Eventually, at 06:44, a single one-minute hole in the clouds showed the Sun during the egress of Venus. As soon as I saw Venus in the camera's magnifying viewfinder, I started taking pictures. Before the participants could come and look into the viewfinder, the clearing was over. At least, I had some images to show everybody.

Then it was time for a debriefing. I announced the next major Skybar event: the occultation of Jupiter and its satellites by the Moon, to take place on Sunday 15th July 2012 before dawn. See you there!

Thanks to all those who contributed to the success of the ToV event, especially G. Tomezzoli, J. Marot-Lassauzaie and . Gillig.