See the transit of Venus in Claremont

June 5, 2012

If no clouds come to spoil the fun, I will be in downtown Claremont this afternoon (Tuesday, June 5) with a scope set up for free public viewing of the transit of Venus. The transit starts at 3:06 PM, PDT, and will still be in progress when the sun sets at 7:59. I plan to be there for all of it. If all goes well, from about 2:50 onward I will be in the public square in front of the theater, on the northeast corner of First Street and Indian Hill Boulevard. Whenever the sun gets low enough to go behind the theater, I’ll head up to the top of the parking garage across the street, to watch the sun set with Venus still crossing the solar disk. You, whoever you are, are welcome to join me.

If by some freak chance it is cloudy this afternoon, I’m going to throw my gear in the car and run up to Big Bear, which gets more sunny days than almost anywhere else in SoCal (that’s why the solar observatory is there). In which case, you’re still welcome to join me, if you can find me. Try the Discovery Center on the north shore, if it’s sunny…or the nearest pub if it’s not.

Fingers firmly crossed for clear, sunny skies!


  1. Hope all goes well at your public viewing! I’m looking forward to mine as well! I’ll bring two scopes (and two sun funnels), but I may just set up only one. The ST80 is mounted on an alt-az with slow motion controls, while the GalileoScope is mounted on a photo tripod. We’ll shall see…

  2. Aren’t you worried about frying out the optics on your Astroscan by pointing directly at the sun withno shielding or stepping down of the aperture ?

  3. Nah. Edmund sells a sun projection screen for the Astroscan, so they clearly intend it to be used that way. I did remove the shoulder strap so the tube could ventilate through the bolt-holes. It handled the eclipse for two hours and the transit for almost five with no ill effects.

  4. […] just one day shy of being one month overdue, is my post on the transit of Venus on June 5. As promised, I took scopes downtown and did some sidewalk astronomy, and eventually some rooftop astronomy. As […]

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