Transit of Venus in NYC

If there’s one thing I have learned to count on during the time I’ve spent in New York, it’s this: if there is even the slightest suggestion of an extraordinary astronomical event, I won’t see it. Massive solar storms bring the possibility of aurora spotting to the area, and dense cloud cover forms post-haste. The supermoon arrives, and so does superfog.

So it should come as no surprise that this evening, just as Venus began its transit across the sun, this happened:

transit of venus new york

Transit of clouds obscures the transit of Venus. Note the blue patch of sky nicely positioned where the sun is not.

transit of venus new york

Yes, thank you for the sunbeams, weather gods, I appreciate the reminder of the sun I cannot see, which is currently being transited by Venus. Why must you mock me?

I give up. Here’s a photo of a pigeon instead.

transit of venus new york

Rooftop pigeon, visibly dismayed at missing the transit of Venus.

I’m not bothered, much. There’s always the next time, in the year 2117. Did anyone else manage to see the transit of Venus?

About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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38 Responses to Transit of Venus in NYC

  1. Jeff Sinon says:

    Unless you had the right kind of telescope to look through you wouldn’t have been able to see it anyway 😉 And without the clouds you wouldn’t have been able to get the great sun beam on the building!

  2. abraalani says:

    Aaahh I know the feeling EXACTLY, because it all happens just like that here in Seattle too. Though, the clouds outside my window aren’t as lovely as the ones you found! I love the second one, with the sunlight coming through the clouds. And the pigeon too, of course. We’ll just have to live until the next go around with Venus! 😉

  3. I agree with Jeff. I went out and took pix of all the gorgeous puffy clouds in the sky. Ok. You can see that anytime…or can you? I’m happy I got that because that was awfully purdy 🙂
    Let’s just stick around for the next sighting of Missy Miss in Blue Jeans. (am I the only one that remembers that song?)

  4. As a consolation prize, you can go tomorrow morning to see the Enterprise delivered to the Intrepid 😉 That should be more reliably visible (although less reliably timed)…

  5. Rob says:

    At least you had a chance… Apparently the event was set to happen here at 22:00 according to the news – now I may be not the most intelligent of people but even I’m sure the sun doesn’t come out at night ! I know exactly what the pigeon feels like 🙂

    • ailsapm says:

      Ah, yes, Rob, it makes for tricky viewing when your part of the planet is facing the wrong way The pigeon and I send our commiserations. 😉

  6. Madoqua says:

    Well, I was very lucky! After an awful day yesterday, we had cloudless skies here in southern Australia and watched Venus creep into view earlier today. We then watched intermittently as it crossed the sun and snapped lots of photos as it moved back off the sun. We had a basic telescope and projected the image onto a piece of paper! I have posted some pics on my blog.

  7. sinpolaris says:

    I share your frustration all the way from Lima, Peru where the autumn clouds socked me in also. So I made my own transit (

  8. It’s true, it’s almost impossible to see anything with all the lights and pollution and glare around here. But I still think the photos you took are stunning. And the pigeon looks like he posed just for you.

  9. Pingback: 6-5-12 Carroll Gardens, Gowanus and Prospect Park aka Venus? Nah, Brooklyn « The Quotidian Hudson

  10. Too early in the morning over this side of the Atlantic. I’ll have to wait a hundred years to get my shot.

  11. we missed it here in sunny South Africa, but because of rumbunctious grandchildren lol

  12. carolisle says:

    I did get to see the Transit and the supper full moon. I’ve posted pictures of both if you need a peek,. but I do believe that experience of both are still in affect. Love the Pigeon! Your Humor is wonderful 🙂

    • ailsapm says:

      Thanks Carol, the pigeon and I had a good laugh about it afterwards 😉 That was a gorgeous telescope you got to peek through!

  13. Even is we didn’t see the once in a blue moon phenomenon, you did show us an amazing , dramatic spectacle in the sky. The play of lights, colors, clouds and shadows just created a dramatic , unforgettable scene. A work of Art across the sky. And yes, cool pigeon as well. Thanks for sharing a wonderful post.

    • ailsapm says:

      Thanks Mr B – yes, the sky was beautiful, I’ll let you in on a secret, I didn’t really mind missing the transit of Venus after all, because nature in any form is a pretty wonderful spectacle. 😉

  14. I meant, even if…

  15. ltgmusic says:

    We got to see it in Israel around 07:30 AM… My kids got organized real quick, they took two old X-Ray foils and were able to look at the sun and spot Venus on the upper part of the sun. So the stars were on my side that day, we even got to school on time…
    i like your blog!

  16. I think the clouds that prevented your observation of the transit of Venus were the same ones we watched all afternoon, and which then started to rain on us:

    And, although we didn’t see Venus either, it was pretty spectacular at water level!

    • ailsapm says:

      Spectacular is an understatement, those skies are breathtaking. Just watched the slideshow three times through, what an incredible trip you guys had. My non-transit of Venus from the rooftop didn’t compare!

    • ailsapm says:

      Wow. So, so beautiful, Vlad. And I laughed out loud at the radio conversation you and Johna overheard. 🙂

  17. Aaron says:

    This is a hilarious post! Love the pic of the pigeon 🙂 – My wife and I always joke that we’ll never live in New York because it seems to be the only city that ever gets attacked during an alien invasion….

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