Gregory Gross

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Special Events

Since my beginning as an amateur astronomer during the summer of 2014, I've seen a number of special astronomical events.

Mercury transit of May 9, 2016

Heavier cloud cover broke just in time for me to capture this last-minute photo of Mercury crossing the sun (at least from our perspective here on Earth). While not as rare of an event as a transit of Venus, it was still remarkable to see the contrast of Mercury's tiny disk (upper left) relative to the sunspot towards the center of the sun and the sheer size of the sun itself. (Never look at the sun through a telescope without proper filtering!)

Venus-Jupiter conjunction of June 30, 2015

I observed the closest planetary conjunction of 2015 angling with a number of other curious Portlanders in Rocky Butte State Park on the east side of town.

It was awesome to see both planets in the same field of view even in a modestly powered telescope eyepiece. In the photo above, Venus is on the lower left and Jupiter with its four Galilean moons on the upper right.

More information: APOD.

Partial solar eclipse of October 23, 2014

After seeing a very dismal forecast for the day, a forecast that included heavy rain at times, I was delighted to discover the sun emerging out of heavy cloud cover at around 3:30 pm. While the maximum eclipse occurred at 3:03 pm, I was delighted to be able to catch these views of a still-in-progress partial solar eclipse, albeit amid the haze of a still-cloudy day.

A rather sizable sunspot (AR2192) in the middle of the sun's disk made for a particularly interesting observation session. (Never look at the sun through a telescope without proper filtering!)

More information: APOD.

Total lunar eclipse of October 8, 2014

During the early hours of October 8, 2014, I woke up early to observe the total eclipse that occurred that night. It was an amazing experience.

More information and photos.