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Rain Showers Cloud Transit of Venus in Westport

WESTPORT, Conn. – Astronomy buffs who arrived at the Rolnick Observatory in Westport on Tuesday evening to witness the Transit of Venus were met by rain showers and cloudy skies.

Although the weather wasn’t bad enough to keep the spectators from trying to get a glimpse of this astronomical phenomenon — which won’t occur again for 105 years — it dampened the spirits of some.

“The weather is less than ideal, to say the least,” said Lucas Petrovsky of Norwalk. “It’s definitely a bummer, especially considering we won’t get the chance to see this again in our lifetimes.”

Unable to view the transit from the observatory tower, Petrovsky was among the more than 100 people who crowded inside the center's education classroom at about 6 p.m. to watch a live videostream of the event from NASA.

“Unfortunately, our telescopes can’t see through clouds,” Dan Wright, president of the Westport Astronomical Society, told those gathered.

As the audience stared at a view of the sun from Hawaii, excitement began to build as a small black dot appeared over the bottom left quadrant of the sun.

The first wave of spectators watched for about 30 minutes as the dot moved slightly farther over the sun and documented the event with photos. Wright told the audience it would take about six-and-a-half hours for Venus to go completely across the sun.

“It’s like watching paint dry,” Wright laughed.

Weston resident Karen Jacobs, who brought her 8-year-old daughter McKenzie, said although they didn’t get to see Venus through the telescopes, the trip to the observatory was worth it.

“McKenzie is so into this stuff, and she really had her heart set on going up to the tower to watch this. But at least we didn’t miss it,” Jacobs said. “We’ll probably go home and bring up the NASA video later to see how far it’s moved.”

McKenzie shared her mother’s upbeat outlook. “It’s still cool,” said McKenzie. “It looks like a mole on the sun.”

The live NASA video stream can be viewed on the Rolnick Observatory's website .

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