Those who hoped to see the transit of Venus from the Occoquan and Lorton areas were disappointed tonight, as clouds covered the sun only minutes before the transit was set to start.
Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta set up his telescope on a grassy hill overlooking Vulcan Materials on Ox Road in Lorton. Though the sky was partially cloudy shortly before 6 p.m., the sun was still visible in the lens until about 6 p.m., when thick clouds covered the sun until sundown. The transit began at about 6:03 p.m.
Porta, an amateur astronomer, uses an eight inch SCT telescope, which tonight was equipped with solar filters to shield the eyes of those interested in observing the transit.
A small crowd of about 25 people gathered, but they slowly dispersed as it became evident that the transit would not be visible from the Lorton area.
The outdoor Occoquan Town Council meeting began at 7 p.m. Council member Denise Bush said that the town budget was one of the main items on the agenda for tonight.