Many people in the Northeast, including myself, were stoked for the transit of Venus, and had even made the appropriate party preparations. But the sky was pretty patchy in New York, and when it got closer to prime time, many of us were as out of luck as Guillaume le Gentil in 1768. (Except it got even worse for the French astronomer after clouds ruined his day: he ended up in a sailing disaster and took 11 years getting home).
On the same day that India usually receives its first drop of monsoon season rains, much of the Northeast Corridor was covered by clouds. This young man from Southeast Pennsylvania had planned to watch Venus pass between his eyes (well, hopefully a solar projector) and the Sun for the last possible time before 2117. At least I saved my retinas from risk of permanent damage.
Fortunately, other parts of Earth still had a chance to see one little dot move across one big dot. And parts of space too. Below are some photos from NASA that I promise will not burn your eyeballs.
First Venus Transit Photos Taken by a Human From Space, by NASA Astronaut Don Pettit
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory
See more images at NASA’s astronomy photo of the day message board.