TRANSIT OF VENUS…The last viewing chance of our lifetime!

Jun 1, 2012   //   by Pamela Greyer   //   Latest Buzz  //  No Comments

I’m sharing this information, received from my friend Vivian Hoette, Education Outreach Coordinator at Yerkes Observatory on viewing opportunites for Tuesday’s Transit of Venus event. If you can’t make it to a live viewing event, there are links below that you can visit to watch it online.

From the Yerkes Yoteach mailing list:

On June 5, 2012, Venus will cross the Sun marking an astronomical event you won’t want to miss! It is the last one in our lifetimes. (Next one is 2117.) Observing this event from multiple locations on Earth is how astronomers figured out the Astronomical Unit (AU, distance from Earth to the Sun). And, therefore the size of the cosmos! Now astronomers are using transits of planets across other stars to find exoplanets.

Big Foot Beach State Park (East Side of Lake Geneva) and Yerkes Observatory are hosting viewing events for the Transit of Venus. We will have sunspotters, solar scopes, solar filtered telescopes, and eclipse glasses for sale.

Preserve your eyes! VIEW SAFELY – DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY at the Sun, and NEVER EVER through a telescope Unless it has a SOLAR FILTER over the OBJECTiVE (large opening of the telescope).

You can see Venus cross the Sun from about 5:04pm to sunset in the midwest. Our events begin at 4pm and continue through sunset. Attached here are a couple of flyers that we made for this event.

You may download these and give them to your students or post them at school, or modify them to meet your needs. We also have lots of eclipse glasses for sale at Yerkes ($2) or in bundles for schools (limited supply) at $1 each if you pick them up from Yerkes.

If you would like some advice or help setting up a way to view the transit and sun safely, please contact us and we will try to help. If you are in the area, and would like to help out at Yerkes or another location (such as the Township Park in Delavan at the east end of the lake, or at the Duck Pond in Fontana, we can loan you a solar scope that projects a 5 inch image (approx) of the sun to see sunspots and the Venus transit.

Though many will be able to see the transit in eclipse glasses, a magnified projected view or telescope solar filtered view will be best. (Solar filters must be put in place on the objective (large) end of the telescope. We have some solar filter film (limited supply) ordered that will arrive on Monday, in case you are really interested in making your own solar filter. Please let us know and be at Yerkes on Monday to build it.)

Webpages to help you out….
Register for Big Foot Beach State Park or Yerkes Observatory Events (If you want to help out you can let us know in the comments area.)
Event Locations
2012 Transit of Venus — Shadows on the Sun (by NASA)
NASA page Live webcast and everything about the Transit of Venus
Transit of Venus (by Chuck Bueter)
Transit of Venus (by Astronomers Without Borders)
Yerkes information page about the Transit
Freinds of Big Foot Beach State Park
Safe Solar Viewing
Sun Funnel (Wehave a limited supply of the rear projection screen material. Pay attention to the eyepiece focal length needed listed in a chart in this document to put in the projection funnel; you will need your own eyepiece.)
Kepler Explanet Transit Hunt
Hubble to use Moon as a Transit Mirror
Yerkes & Big Foot Transit Poster

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