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Posted at 11:07 AM ET, 06/06/2012

Transit of Venus 2012: Celestial spectacle, clouds notwithstanding (PHOTOS)

The Venus transit from Ellicott City, Md. Photographed by bschall, submitted to Washington Post reader gallery.
In many parts of the United States, clouds interfered with the historic transit of Venus. But for some patient skywatchers, there were enough gaps to capture this rare event. That’s a good thing, because the next transit won’t occur for 105 years.

Link: They came to see Venus move across the sun, and some of them did

Around Washington, D.C., the breaks in the clouds were few and far between. But for those able to catch a glimpse, the clouds provided a dramatic surrounding, the gray and black clouds offering stunning contrast against the luminous sun.

Here’s a collection of images of the transit submitted by Capital Weather Gang followers on Facebook and Twitter. Allow a few moments to load...

NASA images/video

Just before transit

Starting transit

Ending transit

Full transit

Time lapse of transit

All photos and the above video in this section courtesy NASA

U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO) images

A sneak peek of the transit
The sun briefly emerges through the clouds at the USNO in NW Washington, D.C. The black speck in the upper right portion of the disc is Venus. Photographed by HP Tuttle (submission via reader gallery) .

The crowd at the USNO
The clouds meant a small crowd at the viewing event at the USNO. Three telescopes were set up for viewing. Photographed by HP Tuttle (submission via reader gallery).

The 5-inch Alvan Clark Transit of Venus Telescope. USNO public affairs officer Geoff Chester believes this is the only instrument to have observed 4 of the 7 transits recorded by humans.
The 5-inch Alvan Clark Transit of Venus Telescope at USNO (Jason Samenow)


Washington Post transit gallery (reader submissions)usno-hptuttle.jpg

Washington Post transit gallery

NASA Goddard Venus Transit pool (public submissions)

By  |  11:07 AM ET, 06/06/2012

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