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Video: Venus Lures Occoquan Residents

LORTON, Va. —A once-in-a-lifetime event brought about 30 people out to the Vulcan rock quarry above Occoquan.

Many of them lined to up to attempt to peer through the persistent cloud cover to view the Transit of Venus — A celestial event that occurs roughly every 100 years. It’s when Venus passes across the sun in plain view from Earth, and it was best viewed on the East Coast Tuesday between 6 and 8 p.m.

Occoquan Mayor Earine Porta, an armature astronomer, brought his telescope to the quarry and allowed residents to peer through its lens. While the clouds made for less than optimum viewing for the event, some onlookers were able to view the Transit by watching live NASA video of the event on their cell phones.

When the Transit does occur, Porta said it occurs in pairs eight years apart. He traveled to Egypt to view the Transit of Venus in 2004, but this time around said there were too many events happening in the town – such as last weekend’s spring craft show and the upcoming charity duck splash – for him to travel to Tahiti where prime viewing for this year’s Transit was said to be premium.

A two-for-one event, Porta and the Occoquan Town Council also held their regularly scheduled meeting at the quarry Tuesday night.

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  • eporta


    Thanks very much for covering this.  I especially appreciate you posting the video.  We did have a modest break in the clouds during the council meeting, which enabled a handful of people to view the transit through the telescope.  Folks were also really great in maintaining good spirits despite the weather’s lack of cooperation.


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