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11 December, 2117

June 6th, 2012

Full-size (1536×2048) .gif images: one, two.

We went up to Mount Hamilton yesterday afternoon, and, as was the case for everyone who saw the transit, it was a unique conjunction of time, place, and circumstance.

The Lick Observatory staff deployed the historic 36-inch refractor to extraordinary advantage. Rather than project the image, which has the effect of divorcing the instrument from the event, they removed the eyepiece and stretched a cloth across the focal plane. The resulting effect, somehow, was to seamlessly integrate the transit into its surroundings and its historical context, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882, 2004, 2012…

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