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Clouds Part for High Desert View of Rare ‘Trip’

KTVZ

If you didn’t get out Tuesday afternoon to see the transit of Venus, you now have to wait 105 more years for the next one.

Knowing that, hundreds of people made the trip to the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver to catch the rare event.

Cloudy skies cleared by late afternoon, so many who made the journey caught quite the show.

“If you see a good sharp shadow, you know it’s a good time to look,” said astronomer Jerry Niehuser.

The observatory had many experts on hand to explain what exactly people were seeing.

“It’s almost exactly the same size of the Earth,” Niehuser told a group of kids. “Remember, it’s a lot closer to us than the sun is.”

The planet Venus began its journey between the Earth and the sun just after 3 p.m.

The rare alignment cast a shadow visible from Central Oregon.

For Ginger Sanders of Bend, this was an opportunity she just couldn’t pass up.

“I am trying to get this set up to take actual photographs,” Sanders saud. “I’m just learning. This is called digiscoping, and I’m just learning how to do it.”

Sanders became interested in photographing the cosmos after a star party hosted by the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver.

She recalled one of the first photographs she took through her telescope.

“It was just this little tiny blob with a ring around it,” said Sanders, “You can kind of tell it was Saturn — and to me, it was my picture of Saturn.”

Her enthusiasm for taking pictures was no different as Venus made its rare journey Tuesday afternoon

“Oh! I see it!” said Sanders.

For some, the chance to see something historic means little or nothing. But for others, like Sanders, it means the world.

“I’m seeing the little tiny bright yellow sun with a little black dot on it, which may be boring to some people — but I’m pretty enamored with it,” she said. The next time Venus will pass between the sun is in 2117, and that time, it won’t be visible on the West Coast of the U.S.

If you were able to get out and shoot any pictures of the transit of Venus, we would love to see them and add them to our online slide show.

Send your pictures to stories@ktvz.com or use the My Report feature of our smartphone app.

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