23.5.12

Observing the Venus Transit


On Tuesday June 5th, 2012 the planet Venus will transit across the disk of the Sun. That means that Venus will pass exactly between Earth and the Sun, appearing for us as a dark spot traversing the face of the Sun.

The University of Florida Astronomy Department will setup telescopes specially provided with a safe solar filter to observe this rare sight, which will not happen again until the year 2117, 105 years from now. Don’t miss it!

The event will be visible from Gainesville from 6:04 PM until sunset. UF telescopes will be set up on the east end of the UF band shell field or FLAVET field on the UF campus, off Museum Road.

 
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This event is free and open to the public.

Please remember that viewing the transit involves looking at the Sun and requires special eye protection. Never look at the Sun without protection because severe eye damage may occur, even if you don’t feel any discomfort. Do not try to observe the Sun with the naked eye or with any optical device such as binoculars or telescopes unless they are properly fitted with a special solar filter.

In Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries, Transits of Venus allowed astronomers to first calculate the distance to the Sun. Today astronomers use transits to find planets orbiting stars other than the Sun, which are called exoplanets. They do it by measuring the dips in brightness of these stars that happen when the exoplanets cross in front of them, for example with NASA’s Kepler Mission.

Check out http://www.astro.ufl.edu/public/jun.html for updated information.

You can also check this websites to learn more about the 2012 Transit of Venus:


Or watch the 4 minutes video summary at www.transitofvenus.org


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