HD189733, a star with a particularly deep transit, as seen by the York Observatory 60 cm telescope. Giang, who joined us in May from McGill University, is obtaining a dataset for our Planets and Planetary Systems (PHYS 3070) students to use in class this fall.
By Tue Giang Nguyen
In preparation for the upcoming term, I was tasked with observing a transit of an exoplanet across a star in the constellation Vulpecula, known as the “little fox”. This is not my first time observing a transit and I cannot help but think that this would not be my last. Accompanied by Jake, a warm-hearted space enthusiast, we set out to take a series of images of what seems to be a tiny sliver of the vast darkened sky.
Forecasts leading up to the transit had not been promising; the hot humid air created a risk of thunderstorm. With the transit expected to last for two hours, the fear of poor visibility occurring during the transit loomed over my mind. My previous attempt at observing this particular transit had been foiled by rolling clouds high above. Whether it be frustration or sorrow, I can relate to the feeling of being inhibited by forces beyond our control, especially on the subject of astronomical observation.