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Transit of Venus & Partial Lunar Eclipse

Monday & Tuesday, June 4-5, 2012

This isn’t the normal kind of ‘trip report’ I post on this website, but I figured since the Transit of Venus will not happen again in my lifetime I would post up a few photos of it here since I spent some time trying to take photos the event. There was also a Partial Lunar Eclipse of the Strawberry Moon the morning before, so I’m going to add a few of those photos to this trip report, too.

On Monday morning I woke up bright and early to get out and photograph the Partial Eclipse of the Strawberry Moon before work. I ended up driving about two blocks away from my home to Eagle Rim Park above the Colorado River where I could get a better view of the moon without any houses getting in the way.

Here’s the moon partially eclipsed by the Earth shortly before it set behind the cliffs of the Colorado National Monument. This was the most it would become eclipsed this time.

Strawberry Lunar Eclipse by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I also made this composite photo showing three different stages of the moon as the Earth cast it’s shadow upon it. These shots were taken over the course of about an hour. The third photo of the moon is a bit more ‘gold’ in color because the light is filtering through the Earth’s atmosphere.

Strawberry Moon, Partial Lunar Eclipse 2012 by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The Transit of Venus started on Tuesday just after 4pm which was good timing for me since I work until 4pm. Right after work Amanda met me and we went to the top floor of my parking garage to take a few photos of the beginning of the event.

Here you can see Venus just starting to travel in front of the sun. It’s that tiny black dot near the top of the sun. All of those other small dots near the muddle of the sun are sunspots.

The Beginning by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Now you can see the full silhouette of Venus in front of the sun as it continues to move down and to the right.

Transit of Venus by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After getting a few photos of the start of the event, Amanda and I had to drive to Fruita to attend a meeting with the Colorado National Monument Association. They had chosen one of my photos to appear in their 2013 calendar and I wanted to see how it looked in the finished product. When we were done at the meeting, I drove out to the 18 Road OHV Area at the base of the Book Cliffs to take a few more photos of the Transit of Venus. Unfortunately, the wind was pretty strong out there, so we left and drove home. Just before making it home I stopped again at Eagle Rim Park to watch the sun set.

As the sun sank lower towards the horizon the view was obscured by a layer of smoke from a large wildfire in New Mexico. While this made the image kind of hazy, it also added some nice color to the scene and blocked enough light that I didn’t need to use a special filter to take photos as the sun set.

Into the Smoke by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

In Transit by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Finally, I got one last photo of the sun setting through the smoke with Venus still visible. It was really an amazing sunset!

Transit of Venus Sunset by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Since I was close to home in the Grand Valley, I didn’t have the greatest choice for foreground, but I like the scale the power poles provide here.

Grand Valley Sunset by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I’m glad I was able to witness this rare event and get a few photos, too.

>> Transit of Venus & Partial Lunar Eclipse Photo Gallery


  1. Jason West
    Jason West June 19, 2012

    Fantastic photos as always. What all are you using to get those shots?

  2. Dennis
    Dennis June 19, 2012

    That last photo with the power lines is amazing! I wish I’d have known about the partial lunar eclipse, it would have been easy for me to wake up for a few minutes and watch it from inside my tent.

  3. Randy Langstraat
    Randy Langstraat June 20, 2012

    Jason- just a long lens (100-400mm) with a DSLR. I did use a solar filter on the first couple photos of the sun.

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