Skies in Oregon Allow Photographing of Transit of Venus
(Portland, Oregon) - Weather more or less cooperated in Oregon today for what is the last chance for anyone alive to catch a rather distinctive and impressive solar event: the transit of Venus across the sun.
Filtered telescopes and visors were de rigueur at OMSI in Portland today for a special viewing, but also all around the northwest. Even weather on the Oregon coast cooperated, but Oregon Coast Beach Connection did not receive any photos of the event from there.
In fact, Oregon Coast Beach Connection snapped these photos from Beaverton/SW Portland, and only when the sun ducked behind the right amount of clouds to back off the brightness but not so much that you couldn't see the disc. Like the term used in astronomy regarding other planets that may be suitable for life: the Earth's sun happened to be in a kind of visual “Goldilocks Zone” at sporadic moments throughout the day.
“A transit of Venus is the observed passage of the planet Venus across the disk of the sun,” said OMSI planetarium manager Jim Todd. “It occurs when Venus, orbiting the sun 'on the inside track,' catches up to and passes the slower Earth. To viewers, Venus will appear as a small dot in the foreground, making its passage (or 'transit') from left to right across the face of the sun.”
The transit ended at 9:44 p.m. as Venus exits to the west of the sun. But the sun had been gone from Oregon by that time.
Todd said that Transits of Venus always occur in pairs that are spaced eight years apart, but then each pair of occurrences is not repeated for more than a century.
“For example, the last transit of Venus took place on June 8, 2004,” Todd said.” The previous pair of transits occurred in December, 1874 and December, 1882. After 2012, the next transits of Venus will take place in December, 2117 and December, 2125.”
Keywords: astronomy, solar system, Venus, Pacific City, Cannon Beach, Yachats, Depoe Bay, Newport, Lincoln City, Oceanside, Astoria, Oregon coast, science, Portland.
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