AUM offers safe solar viewing of Transit of Venus on June 5 | Events
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Unless you plan to be alive 105 yearsfrom now, June 5 will be your last opportunity to see Venus travel between the Earth and the sun, appearing as a large black spot on the sun’s surface. The public is invited to safely view this rare astronomical event at Auburn Montgomery, 5:10-7:40 p.m., on the 10th floor of the Ida Belle Young LibraryTower on campus. The event is free and open to the public.
A “transit of Venus” occurs when Venus visibly passes between the Earth and the sun. The effect is similar to that of a solar eclipse, though Venus appears much smaller than the moon – appearing as a small dot as it travels across the sun, instead of blocking the sun out – due to the planet’s distance from the Earth.
The last transit took place on June 8, 2004 and will notoccur again until December 2117. Transits typically occur in pairs, eight years apart. Therefore, the June 5, 2012 transit is the second in a pair. The last pair occurred in 1874 and 1882.
“Essentially, this will be most people’s last chance to see this rare event happen in their lifetime,” said Chad Ellington, AUM astronomy instructor and a solar system ambassador for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Ellington has organized the AUM viewing, in collaboration with the Auburn Astronomical Society. Since it is not safe to gaze directly at the sun, those who want to see the transit are encouraged to come to AUM and take advantage of the solar telescopes and “eclipse shades” that will be provided.
Information Source: AUM
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