Venus Transit

Well, today was the big day and I got some great pictures from the event as you can see.  I spent the afternoon with K-8 kids showing them the sun and the transit.  My sun gun traveled to St. Andrews Catholic School where a fellow attorney’s child attends.  They asked if I would be willing to show these youngsters the event and, well, I can’t say no to any request like that.  I love help kids understand about the universe outside their windows. Luckily today there were also A LOT of sunspots making the display even better.  I was only able to snap a couple of photos with my smartphone during the lulls, but I must say it worked pretty well.  I was also able to get some images from home (thank the weather gods for a sunny day) so I will process them and, if any of them are good, I will post the results here for you to see.  So did anyone try for the contest from Southern Stars?  I would love to seen any pictures that you might have taken. I am exhausted, so its off to bed for me.  A couple of hundred kids and an afternoon in the hot sun has done me in.  Enjoy the photos.

– Ex astris, scientia –

Venus Transit iPhoto Contest

One more reason to view the transit…you could win an iPad!  details and instructions are here.  Be sure to protect your eyes.  There is a lot of good information for viewing and photographing the transit with a smartphone.  If you have checked out my previous posts I was actually able to capture this image with my smartphone during the eclipse.  So it can be done.  I think I will run a contest in my office for the event and see who can come up with the best photo.

This time I hope to capture better images with my smartphone and my solar scope!  Safe viewing!

– Ex astris, scientia –

Off to the Eclipse!

I’m leaving on a jet plane…well, actually in an RV for a remote spot in Utah on the center-line of the annular eclipse!!!! <Muppet flail> Yeah!!! </end Muppet flail>.  I hope everything goes well and I will have some great pictures to share with you on my return.  For those of you that have the chance to view the eclipse, please remember that this is NOT a total eclipse and that you will need to protect your eyes.  Only 85% of the sun will be obscured by the Moon, leaving plenty of sunlight left to make you go blind.  Take all precautions, especially with any children that may want to look up and see what is going on.  I’ll be back on Tuesday!

– Ex astris, scientia –

The Sun – Safely

Well, I saw this article about making a Sun Gun (no, not the one envisioned by German scientists in WWII), but this one, and I just happened to see a Fry’s ad for a $129.00 Celestron 60mm goto telescope and I couldn’t resist.  So, after a quick trip to the penny less than a dollar store only I manage to get all the parts for this:

She’s a beauty, ain’t she.

Using the 9mm eye piece that came with the scope I was able to actually see 6 sunspots!

Despite the wind that kept moving my planter….er…sun viewing device around I could clearly make out the sun and the sunspots.  Although it is not very apparent in these shrunk down, web size pictures, the full blow images are great.  Visually it is rather stunning.  Next steps: I will reinforce the connection a little more, but I now have a safe, quick and easy way for children of all ages to view the sun safely!

Please remember to never look directly at the sun as it will make you go blind!

Venus transit here I come!

– Ex astris, scientia –