One dead battery, one totally dead camera, clouds, a pesky tree and a little bit later…

occulted-venus.jpg

The sky was clear most of the morning, but the closer it got to showtime, the more the clouds started to gather.  I swear they are sentient beings and KNOW when something is going on.  Anyway, the clouds came but mostly stayed away from the Moon.  Good~  But, and this is big, that tree we saved when we built the observatory was in just the wrong place at the wrong time.  Up until 10 minutes before the occultation, the Moon and Venus were visible through the scope and then the tree occulted everything!

So it was Marfa ( my 80mm refractor on an alt-az mount) to the rescue.  I had Marfa set up in a clear spot away from all the trees in the yard but once again clouds moved in.  One cloud in particular just parked itself over the Moon and Venus.  However, about one minute before Venus vanished, the cloud moved and I grabbed this shot as Venus was slipping behind the Moon.  It was a very close call and by my time, Venus vanished at 2:42:50 p.m. local time.

I hand held a Lumix GF-1 up to the eyepiece (32mm wide) on the refractor to get this shot.

You can barely see Venus as a faint speck on the limb of the Moon of the right.  Enjoy!