2012 Venus transit from Smithville Texas

I hope you got to see the 2012 Venus transit because most likely no one you know will still be alive when the next one happens. My wife and I went over to just outside Smithville with a couple other members of the Huntsville Amateur Astronomy Society and set up to image the event.

Setup for 2012 Venus transit I set up my main scope, a camera with a 300mm lens and of course a pair of binoculars to watch with. It started out pretty cloudy and never really improved, we did however get lucky enough to have many breaks in the cloud cover to get some awesome views.

Plane crosses sun during 2012 Venus transit The above is a composite of many images to show the movement of Venus across the surface of the sun, and yes, there is an airplane there as well! After some serious research, and a lot of help from Steven at Austin-Bergstrom airport, I am fairly confident we have identified the aircraft in the photo. Keep in mind that this is not a definitive ID as we obviously can not see the tail number for a positive ID. Based off radar information from the airport there is a high probability this is Delta flight 1005, tail number N335NB. The plane is an Airbus A319 aircraft that was leaving Austin-Bergstrom airport at approximately 19:55 (7:55pm) CDT. At the time the image was taken the aircraft was climbing past 2000ft at just over 200kts just starting a turn to its right to head for its destination of Minneapolis. To make the image even more interesting, the airport was approximately 40 miles away (direct line, not road miles) at a heading of 287 degrees and the sun was just below 17 degrees above the horizon. Lastly, I mentioned that I also had a camera there which was using Baader solar film, here is an image from that setup:

2012 Venus transit with different camera The 2012 Venus transit was amazing. The weather forecast said I should not have been able to see it, much less image it. I have never been so happy the weather guy was wrong!

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