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At Leisure World, a final chance to see Transit of Venus

June 5, 2012 |  6:44 pm

Transit of Venus
A group of about a dozen senior citizens took over the corner of a parking lot at Leisure World in Seal Beach on Tuesday afternoon to catch their first glimpse of Venus making its way across the sun.

Some peeked into telescopes and others quietly watched a projection screen with an image of a small black dot inching its way across a splash of light.

Michael Beckage, an engineer who mentors the astronomy devotees of Leisure World, set up the telescopes (much fancier than what the men and woman have at home) and told the observers what they were seeing.

FULL COVERAGE: TRANSIT OF VENUS

“There are a lot of geeks in the world who dig stuff like this,” said Beckage.

Emily Hoshiko, 90, sat on her walker with a floral umbrella unfurled, blocking the sun as she watched the screen.

“I think it’s amazing you can get a glimpse of something like this,” she said. “I’m not going to be here another 100 years.”

Just moments after 3 p.m., they spotted the speck of Venus as it crept over the sun, which is actually white. As Beckage pointed out Venus, some quipped that they thought it might have been a piece of debris in their eye.

“It wasn’t Venus, it was a floater” Donna Terrano, 61, joked, describing the dots that sometimes pop up in her vision. “I’ve got plenty of those.”

But as she continued watching, she marveled at how bearing witness to this put things in perspective: We’re all just a small part of the universe.

“It gives us a sense of wonder, a sense of glory in the heavens,” she said.

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-- Rick Rojas

Photo: Venus crawls across the face of the sun. Credit: Associated Press.

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