You can organize this Meetup!

This Meetup no longer has an Organizer.
Without an Organizer, it will disappear from our website in 10 day(s).

You can join this Meetup and become the Organizer.

Venus Transit 2012

Venus Transit 2012

Next Tuesday, June 5th, Venus will cross the face of the sun in a rare celestial event called a transit. Venus transits occur on a regular schedule in pairs eight years apart, with 105.5 years from June to December pairs, and 121.5 years from December to June pairs. The last transit was in June 2004; the next after this coming one will be in December 2117.

Historically, Venus transits were used to determine the distance from the Earth to the Sun using parallax measurements, judged by the difference in time of start and end of the transit measured from widely separated points of Earth. Knowing the distance between observation points, Earth-Sun distance could then be calculated with the ingress/egress times. Since being predicted by Kepler in the 1600s, these events have led to many cross-planet expeditions, including Captain Cook’s first voyage, during which he observed the transit from Tahiti. Although the advent of radar now allows for more precise measurements than parallax, this century’s transits will be used to improve exoplanet study methods. In fact, the Hubble itself will be watching this year, using the Moon as a giant mirror!

The following link explains various methods of watching the sun safely during this and other events:
http://www.transitofvenus.org/june2012/eye-safety/281-six-ways-to-see-the-transit-of-venus

So far, I’ve only tested the telescope filter, open projector, and pinhole projector. Pinhole is by far the simplest and it’s cheap (but image may be small, I only tried one size); I used an old shoebox and a bit of foil. Filters are nice to have, but can be expensive. During the recent solar eclipse, my chapter noted better clarity with the open projector (a beautiful, crisp image) than the filter provided, although that may just be a difference in the telescopes themselves rather than method. The projector only requires a white background and proper positioning, so it’s definitely more affordable than the filter.
The transit starts around 1700 (5pm) from Altus, OK perspective, but that time will differ at other locations. I recommend using astronomy software that allows time-travel; I used the SkySafari app, Stellarium is another good program and it’s free, etc. Good luck, and may you have clear skies!

 

 

Written by William McCarter-President of S.P.A.C.E. Association of Altus, OK

Join or login to comment.

  • Rie G.

    The Venus Transit 2012 Viewing was amazing!!! :) Sadly I was unable to take any photographs that showed Venus passing in front of the Sun, but was clearly able to view it! :)

    June 6, 2012

2 went

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Create your own Meetup Group

Get started Learn more
Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy