many thanks to Tina, now scheduled to bring sun filters to the transit event. if you have more, or a safe telescope, i recommend you bring them. Rick
we invite you to a truly unique experience, a once in a lifetime (unless you saw it in 2004). on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, from 4:04 CDT till the sun sets in Lake Michigan at 8:22, you can watch the planet Venus slowly move across the face of the sun (with proper equipment, of course). you can bring your own #14 welder's glass or astronomical solar filter, or we can provide it to pass around. i am hoping we can have a telescope with a sun filter for better viewing (any volunteers with scopes would be most appreciated). if you miss this one, the next won't happen for 105 years, and it will be in December. . .brrr!
This is not like a solar eclipse: since Venus is so much farther away than the moon, it will subtend a much smaller fraction of the solar disc, and will not visibly dim the sun or be noticeable to anyone not looking for it. But we will be looking for it, viewing it safely thru our #14 welder's glass or solar filters, which can be ordered from a website if you don’t already have one (www.rainbowsymphony.com). You can also make a Pin-Hole Projector ( http://www.eaaa.net/pinhole.htm ) out of free materials you can find in most modern households or workplaces (a cardboard box, a sheet of white paper, and a pin).
Viewing the sun without such equipment is, of course, VERY DANGEROUS and should NOT be done, even for the shortest time. it is also inadvisable to view the event thru a telescope with a solar filter on the eyepiece , because the intense magnified rays of the sun have been known to shatter the glass of these filters, causing several dangerous situations.
if anyone takes pictures of the transit or our event, please post them on the meetup site.
these transits occur in pairs about once a century. at the last one in June of 2004, 11 of us from this group met before sunrise at Oak st beach in Chicago, viewed the transit till about 8 AM. member Bill Chin brought his telescope, as did some strangers we met at the beach, and while waiting we hung out and swam in the lake. after that we had breakfast together then went our merry ways.
this time, we will meet at my house in Beverly Shores, and go to the beach nearby. I’m not sure we whether we will have a telescope, but maybe some strangers will have some set up and let us take a look. Tina will have a solar filter or two, but if you have your own, please bring them. we can check out the transit at the beach as long as we wish. the black disk of Venus will travel slowly across the top of the solar face from left to right over a period of hours. as we are watching, we can hang out on the sand, or have a brisk swim in the lake. let's hope for a crystal clear day like we had in 2004.
When we have had enough, we can retire to my house 8 blocks away, and enjoy a bbq and pot luck dinner, hang out, maybe play some games, etc. We can still observe the transit from my deck, and if we wish, can go back down to the beach to see the sun set over the lake with the transit still in progress.
if anyone wishes to attend, there will be a naturalist led viewing at the State Park beach pavilion starting at 7 PM.
Here is a timetable of events
3:00 CDT please arrive at my house
3:30 CDT walk about 10 minutes down to the beach, find a spot and set up any equipment we have (if you get to my house late, just walk straight down Broadway to the beach. we will be down on the beach not far away. if you can't find us, call me at[masked], but sometimes cell phone reception at the lakefront is spotty. if you drive and can't find a parking space, drive back and park at my house. don't park anywhere the slightest bit irregular--both the town police and the rangers are very quick to ticket and tow.
4:04 CDT 1st contact (leading edge of Venus tangent with leading edge of sun--transit begins)
4:21 CDT 2nd contact (trailing edge of Venus tangent with leading edge of sun)
Sometime after this, we can return to my house for a bbq and pot luck, we will start grilling, and bring out the other food too. We will keep the grill going for whatever you would like to bring to toss on it, so feel free to bring some meat (real or fake), fish, vegetables, tofu or what-have-you to cook. side dishes like pasta, baked beans, a potato dish, etc, or any other dishes, snacks, wine, etc are welcome too. If you are coming on the train, or it’s otherwise inconvenient to bring something, don’t worry, we’ll have enough.
maybe we will go back to the beach to see the sunset
8:22 CDT sun sets over the lake
since the sun will have set, the rest of the transit will be invisible to us. I had originally planned to spend the whole time at the beach, and go out to Wagner's ribs for dinner after sunset, but this would make things awfully late for a weeknight, and, unique as it is, I’m not sure we will want to spend a continuous 4 hours viewing it.
Of course if it’s continuously cloudy—all bets are off—try again in 2117! : )
hope to see you at this unique event,
directions & parking instructions:
by car from Chicago: (driving time from downtown is about 1 hour 15 minutes) follow I-90 (Kennedy-Dan Ryan) East; at exit 59A, be sure to follow signs to "Chicago Skyway/Indiana Toll road"--the Skyway will turn into the Indiana Toll rd at the state line: tolls can be paid with I-pass or cash; at I-90 exit 21, get onto I-94, be sure to go East (marked Detroit); exit I-94 at exit 26 marked IN 49 north; continue to US 12 east, continue on US 12 about 4 miles to Broadway (traffic light opposite National Lakeshore campground, gas station & liquor store on corner) and turn left; continue about 1/2 mile past Beverly & Bellevue, and turn left at Marne, continue to 11 w Marne near the end of a cul-de-sac; our house is on the left, and is a gray, three story house set back rather far from the road; street parking is not allowed in Beverly Shores, but our gracious neighbors, Henry & Mary are allowing us to use their parking spaces across the street (don't block their driveway!) if these spaces are taken, go to the end of our driveway and park on the right side, if someone is in that spot, park on the left side, next person park in the middle, following persons, go as far forward as you can and park single file in the driveway: if all the driveway spaces are taken, call me at [masked], or ring the doorbell and I'll give you instructions; please try to arrive by 3:00, we will wait till 3:30, then depart for the beach on foot.
from Northwest, West, or South suburbs: follow the TriState tollway (I-294) east until it merges with I-94 east; exit I-94 at exit 26 marked IN 49 north; go north to US 12 east (exit on left), continue on US 12 about 4 miles to Broadway (traffic light opposite National Lakeshore campground, gas station & liquor store on corner) and turn left; continue about 1/2 mile past Beverly & Bellevue, and turn left at Marne, continue to 11 w Marne near the end of a cul-de-sac; our house is on the left, and is a gray, three story house set back rather far from the road; street parking is not allowed in Beverly Shores, but our gracious neighbors, Henry & Mary are allowing us to use their parking spaces across the street (don't block their driveway!) if these spaces are taken, go to the end of our driveway and park on the right side, if someone is in that spot, park on the left side, next person park in the middle, following persons, go as far forward as you can and park single file in the driveway: if all the driveway spaces are taken, call me at [masked], or ring the doorbell and I'll give you instructions; please try to arrive by 3:00, we will wait till 3:30, then depart for the beach on foot.
by the South Shore line: get the South Shore at the Metra Electric stations at 2:35 PM at Randolph, or at Van Buren, Roosevelt rd, Hyde Park, etc; take the train to the Beverly Shores station (you will have to tell the conductor you're getting off because it is a flag stop); train arrives at 4:04; we will probably already be at the lake at that time. call me at [masked], and I will let you know if someone can pick you up or if you will need to walk to the lake. if so, please walk north on Broadway till you come to the beach. look for us there, or call my cell phone. sometime cell phone reception is bad at the lakefront—I apologize if you can’t reach me, but it probably should be easy enough to find us. check the website below for trains returning to Chicago; you also may be able to get a ride back to the city from someone else
here is the South Shore website: http://www.nictd.com/....
The Dunes are to the Midwest what the Grand Canyon is to Arizona and the Yosemite is to California. They constitute a signature of time and eternity. --Carl Sandburg