Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Transit of Venus event at BGSU Observatory

transit of venus
Photo by Bart Benjamin
A paper insert in my latest BGSU Planetarium program included information about the upcoming transit of Venus on June 5, 2012 at 18:04:13 (ingress exterior) local time.

Because people are finding my blog with keywords for the Bowling Green State University Transit of Venus event, I decided to post the contents of the written flyer in its entirety to make sure the information gets out there!
A sky event is coming in June that won't happen again this century - a transit of Venus. During transit, Venus can be seen as a small dot moving across the face of the Sun.  
Transits are rare and they happen in pairs. The 2012 transit follows one in 2004. The next pair won't come for a hundred years - until 2117 and 2125.  
We'll be running a planetarium show about the transit. Transit of Venus will tell you why transits happen, the colorful stories of astronomers who have studied past transits and what they learned, and the circumstances of the 2004 transit. You'll be surprised how much there is to an event you've probably never heard of before.  
The Transit of Venus planetarium program will run at 8 p.m. on Friday May 18, Friday May 25, and Friday June 1, as well as at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday June 3.  
The transit is on Tuesday, June 5. Weather permitting, we'll have the BGSU Observatory open from 6 p.m. to sunset so you can see this rare event through our telescopes. We can't promise a spectacular sight - you'll just see a black dot in front of the sun - but it's the rarity of the event that makes it special. There's about a 50% chance of clear skies in BG at the time of the transit. Come to the Planetarium lobby and we'll escort you to the rooftop Observatory.  
The Observatory open house will be held only if the sky is clear. You can call 419-372-8831 beginning at 4 p.m. on June 5 for a recorded message giving the status of the open house.
Update: A live webcast of the transit will be shown in the Planetarium theater rain or shine, but a rooftop viewing will only happen if the sky is at least partially clear.

Update: I added a post with photos from the transit event.

Other great transit resources:
- TransitofVenus.org
- NASA 2012 Transit of Venus
- Transit of Venus 2012, Wikipedia
- TransitofVenus.nl
- Twitter #tov2012

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