Lunar eclipse

There was a lunar eclipse last night, and, for once, the sky above Birmingham was clear with the brighter stars visible. We saw the disc of the Moon eaten away slowly, then a light bronze disc with a bright arc near the top at around 10pm on the disc. The Moon emerged from the shadow slowly and became the familiar full Moon. I’d hazard a guess at L4 on the Danjon scale of lunar eclipse brightness, but I might be swayed by the bright sky conditions locally.

I shared my binoculars with a neighbour who was impressed at actually being able to see a planetary event from the sodium light dome of the inner city.

Transit of Venus, Tuesday, June 8th 2004

snap of the 2004 Venus transit projected onto a card through a binocular

On the morning of Tuesday, June 8th 2004, we had a planning meeting with about 30 managers. I am the only person that can remember this meeting. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then and a lot of planning meetings have come and gone. I can remember that meeting so well because all through it I was thinking I could be out on the car park with a telescope showing students a rare astronomical event.

I did manage to get a hurried image of the transit at Sunrise by projection onto card through binoculars held in a lab stand (one half with the lids on, x7). Many people have put their pictures of the transit up, and I am confident we don’t have to do any planning around sunrise (04:46 BST ) on June 6th, 2012 when you will be able to catch the end of the next transit. I bet it will be cloudy!

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