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Venus Transit report from Kendal

Alarm went off at 4.

Looked out the window.

Saw charcoal-grey sky and rain hitting the glass.

Went back to bed.


…and that’s it, really. Didn’t see a thing.

Oh well, back to looking for noctilucent clouds! 🙂



Actually, there was a bit more to it than that. I stayed up quite late – 01.30? – following the progres of the Transit online, via the fantastic SLOOH Live website, which broadcasts live pictures of astro events from telescopes all around the world. Thanks to the SLOOH team, while Kendal was in rain-soaked darkness, I was able to enjoy gorgeous views of venus crossing the Sun as seen from Norway, Hawaii, Australia and the US., with experts and astronomers chatting away to the viewers, and each other, in the background. So I managed to watch the first hour of the Transit, and the last twenty minutes or so, online of not for real. And while it would be easy – and understandable – to write a long moaning post here about how crappy the British weather is, how we always miss big events, how unfair it is, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to tell myself – and remind all of you – that it’s FANTASTIC to have coverage of these events on the internet, allowing us to watch them even if we can’t see them for real from where we live. Just a few years ago, I’d have missed the whole Transit, not seen a moment of it, and had to make do with pictures published in newspapers and magazines after the event. This time, I was able to go to my computer and watch the Transit’s progress from my office chair, drinking a glass of wine and eating a packet of Prawn Cocktail Skips (ah, the glamourous life of a Cumbrian astronomer, I know!) with a cat snoring on my lap. Not bad. And I did see the one in 2004, so I don’t feel entirely cheated.

Anyway, here are some screenshots of what SLOOH shared with the world…


The SLOOH team are broadcasting more and more events – eclipses, conjunctions etc – and I can’t recommend their site highly enough. Here’s a link to it…



2 Responses

  1. […] aus Hildesheim, den Niederlanden, Bangalore, Dallas und Oldenburg, ein ESA Press Release, ein Bericht eines Wolken-Beobachters und eine BBC-Story. [10:40 […]

  2. Stuart, what you have related there is almost the same as we had here. I stayed up late looking at the web cast. And then got up at 4:30. Grey cloud 100% cover. Back up again at 05:00 and 05:30 Just as bad. No rain mind you. The frustrating thing is, the weather has been sunny here for almost 5 weeks solid. And tonight, exactly one day after the TofV, the sky is indigo coloured again. No cloud. Very frustrating, but I agree, its great being able to see it in real time via the web. And to get the commentaries as well.

    Liek you say, roll on the NLC’s ! There were a couple fo faint ones last week,. Not sepctacular, but definitely NLCs.

    All the best from Mull!


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