What is a transit of Venus?

When Venus passes directly between earth and www.adime.es the sun, we see the grefa.org distant planet as a small dot gliding slowly across the face of cheap cialis with fast delivery the sun.  Historically, this rare alignment is how we measured the size of our solar system.  The view is like a front row seat to viagra online india the transit method, by which we find planets around distant stars.

When is it?

The last transit of Venus occurred June 5-6, 2012.  The next pair of Sun-Venus-Earth alignments will be December 2117 and 2125.  Look for a transit of Mercury in 2016.

What happened in 2012?

People across the globe witnessed and celebrated science in action. Observing parties, public outreach, live webcasts, art exhibits, historic displays, music , and more set the 2012 transit of Venus apart as a collective science experience. 

Transit of Venus at sunset

See A Community Celebrates for a summary of the 2012 Transit of Venus from Michiana.

Transit of Venus Story

Rare Alignment

Sun, Venus, and earth align for transit of Venus
A transit of Venus occurs when Venus passes directly between the sun and earth.  This alignment is rare, coming in pairs that are eight years apart but separated by over a century.  The most recent transits of Venus were a thrilling sight in June 2004 and 2012, with the the best choice cialis pfizer canada next transit of Venus pair occurring in December 2117 and 2125. 

Global Expeditions

Parallax angle from two locations
Observers from two locations on earth see two distinct paths (red and blue) of Venus across the sun.  The slight difference in times Venus takes, moving from edge to edge, can mathematically unlock the distance from earth to the sun, and thus the size of our solar system.  For 17th & 18th century transits, intrepid explorers set out to answer a leading question of mankind.  Not all of them made the voyage back home.

Mystery of "Black Drop"

Simulated black drop smearJust before or after the circular black dot of levitra cheapest best buy lowest cost Venus seems to touch the edge of the sun, a peculiar "black drop effect" sometimes occurs between the contact points.  A ligament of darkness smears the juncture of Venus and the sun.  You can see a similar anomaly if you almost pinch your thumb and forefinger together.  Just before you sense contact, a black feature spans your two digits.

Transits Lead the levitra one a day Hunt

Kepler mission's field of view near Summer Triangle
Once again, transits are on the leading edge of new discoveries.  The NASA Kepler mission and others are using the transit method to find habitable planets around distant stars.  The Kepler spacecraft monitors over 150,000 stars, looking for periodic dips in their light curves which reveal the presence of companion planets.  You, too, can join this quest for new worlds. 

4-Minute Summary

Video: the Transit of Venus
Animation and viagra professional visual effects by Patrick McPike.

Get Your Gear

Three t-shirt designs

Three designs of T-shirts at reduced price from supporters of Transit of Venus outreach efforts.

Midwest Treasure: TROVE

Midwest Treasure: TROVE
Art exhibits, family activities, a bus tour, historic artifacts, lectures, Logo for TROVE Adventurewebcasts, telescope viewing, and more complemented the visual spectacle near the Michigan-Indiana border.  This hub of www.bm-cultura.de 2012 transit of Venus activity in Michiana celebrated the http://robert-alonso-photos.com/cialis-and-diarrhea math, science, history, and art of the celestial phenomenon.

Safely See the Sun

Rear projection screen with transiting Venus
Protect your eyes.  There are several safe ways to observe the http://saltlakewebcentral.com/levitra-price sun. 
  • Solar filtered telescope
  • Disposable "eclipse shades"
  • Rear projection screen
    (Build a Sun Funnel, above)
  • Live webcast
  • More

Recommended Links

Logo for Transit of Venus Project

Logo for NASA's Sun-Earth Day 2012

Logo for Facebook Group

Twitter logo

YouTube features transit of Venus videos

Build a Sun Funnel for Group Viewing with a Telescope

Building a device to view the sun safelyOne of the best ways for a group of people to view the magnified sun safely is to use a rear screen projection that is enclosed.  Because no one is exposed to the intense light path, a Sun Funnel allows a crowd of people to see concurrently the transit of Venus, sunspots, or eclipses.   

Parts for building a Sun Funnel for safe solar viewing.After leading a hands-on workshop to make the inexpensive devices, AAS Education & Outreach Coordinator Richard Tresch Fienberg wrote and illustrated Build a Sun Funnel for Group Viewing of Sunspots and the Transit of Venus (updated April 2013).   The how-to manual gives clear, step-by-step assembly instructions and sources for inexpensive materials. 

See Eye Safety for more techniques and advice for viewing the sun safely. 

SPANISH VERSION; courtesy of Manuel Alvarez, Instituto de Astronomia Sede Ensenada B.C.

Note: Da-Lite screen can be purchased from http://www.bigscreencenter.com/Venus-Transit-Sun-Funnel-s/4476.htm.

Transit of Venus Brochure

Transit of Venus Brochure Cover PageIf you are preparing for a public event for the 2012 transit of Venus, your audience will likely want  more printed information.  Consider distributing an informational handout for the lay person, such as the http://www.bm-cultura.de/best-way-to-use-levitra version for USA observers at docs/Transit_of_Venus_Brochure.pdf.  Please feel free to proofread and make suggestions, or use it as it is.

For the day of the transit you may want to have certificates available that include a place for the participants to http://www.airatlanta.ie/online-cialis-cheap mark their observed times of only best offers how to get cialis in canada internal contact. 


Poster: Countdown to the Transit of Venus

Poster for 2011 ASP Conference in Baltimore; Chuck BueterIf you are attending the 2011 Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) Meeting in Baltimore, MD, from July 30 to August 3, please join Rick Feinberg, Lou Mayo, and me for the Tuesday 10 AM workshop titled How, and Why, to Facilitate Group Viewing of the 2012 Transit of Venus.  Each participant will make-and-take a rear projection screen so that your group can observe the sun safely through a telescope. 

On display at the poster session will be my Countdown to the Transit of Venus (left), which answers some common FAQs about the transit, addresses the June 5/6 confusion, and suggests some ways for educators and students to be active in the 2012 transit of Venus experience. Please introduce yourself to me during the www.aco.ca dedicated poster time, or look for me during the rest of the conference.   I welcome your input, suggestions, and corrections. 

Transit of Venus Project Launches

Transit of Venus Project Launches With Portal WebsiteThe one-year countdown to the 2012 transit of Venus begins with the launch of a new portal to Transit of Venus projects and effect of levitra on women resources.  Under the aegis of Astronomers Without Borders (AWB), Steven van Roode has configured www.transitofvenus.nl to capture the many events surrounding the 2012 celestial phenomenon.  Featured activities include "the measuring of the solar system by timing the transit from widespread locations with a phone app, an archaeological experiment in which historic Venus transit observations are emulated using antique instruments, classroom activities for different levels of education, and the marking of http://www.breinweb.nl/cialis-femele significant sites of past transit expeditions...The home page will be a dynamic page, featuring blog posts from various authors, informing the public on the transit from different angles and disciplines."

The Transit of Venus Project is organized by dedicated volunteers who seek sponsorship support for several aspects, including the Transit of Venus phone app.  For a modest investment you can have front billing to tramadol 50mg tabs what Google Zeitgeist deemed the http://meivending.com/discount-cialis-online #1 Most Popular Event in the the world in June 2004.  Now is the time to step up, both for astronomy education and for corporate prominence.

Appeal to Be Bold

Dear Astronomy Enthusiast,

Mark the date on your calendar – June 5, 2012.  That Tuesday (for North American viewers) we have an unparalleled opportunity to promote astronomy education and public outreach as the last transit of Venus of our lifetimes takes place.  This rare event has happened only seven times since the telescope was invented more than 400 years ago.  The last Venus transit in June 2004 – the first since the 19th century – was such a global sensation that Google’s Zeitgeist proclaimed it the #1 Most Popular Event in the world for the whole month!  With your participation and support we can surpass even that incredible success.  Read on to see how you can contribute to an unprecedented effort to engage the astronomy community, educators and the public in this historic event.

Expeditions sent around the world during the 18th and 19th century to http://www.tedxamsterdamed.nl/cheap-viagra-no-prescription observe this rare event and to time its occurrence from widespread locations in an attempt to measure the canada cheap cialis scale of the solar system are the stuff of legend.  In 2012, professional and amateur astronomers will replicate historic Venus transit observations, some using antique instruments at historic sites. There are several projects already being planned for locations where the transit is visible.  For observers in the continental United States, Venus will appear on the Sun’s limb in the afternoon, slowly gliding across its face until the pair sets in the west.

Each century since Jeremiah Horrocks first recorded the 1639 transit of Venus, astronomers have developed new tools to tease more information from this rare dance of the planets.  Great advances were made as telescopes, photography, and satellites were utilized, and the 21st century adds its own unique new technology.  I and other volunteers are creating a phone app that observers worldwide will use to contribute their observations to the global effort to quantify the Astronomical Unit, the distance from Earth to the Sun that is the primary yardstick of the Solar System.  The tap of non prescription cialis from canada a button is all that’s needed to mark the time of internal contact and levitra send it, along with observer's location and local time, to a global database.  The app will also help users find local observing events, live webcasts, online programming, and more from various social media.  Developed under the viagra costs aegis of Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) (http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org/), the app will be widely distributed free to the public by AWB and others.

As of this writing there are no apps that address the transit of Venus among the hundreds of thousands of apps available, despite the event’s known popularity.  The app and the programs that will utilize it will give you and your audience an easy, fun way to participate in this rare event.  Just as previous transit of Venus expeditions (such as James Cook's first voyage) contributed to international efforts, the modern global astronomy community can measure the size of the solar system we inhabit – all without the difficulties, dangers and expense of the historic expeditions.  This time, everyone can take part.  It fits with the AWB slogan – One People, One Sky.

Be bold.  While major funders are being sought, this volunteer effort needs the early support of those like you who understand the value of engaging the cambridgeacademyaz.com public during rare celestial events.  With only one year remaining we need to keep the momentum going with the aid of http://www.tenasys.com/pill-price-cialis those closest to the project.  Send the major funders a message that the astronomy community endorses and supports this important effort.

Please support this important educational project by making a donation on the AWB web site.  Your donation will be made via credit card through PayPal, but you DO NOT need a PayPal account to donate.  If you or your organization prefers to donate by check, you can send a check made payable to Astronomers Without Borders to AWB, 26500 Agoura Rd., Suite 102-618, Calabasas, CA 91301.

With increased web traffic, major sponsors will have a chance to jump in as well.  Steven Van Roode is developing a portal website at www.transitofvenus.nl to accommodate the high traffic that is expected.  In 2004 my own website, www.transitofvenus.org, crashed after six million hits (!), so for 2012 we’re building more capacity and employing more robust internet practices.

Please contact me to discuss the transit of Venus phone app or any other aspects of this last transit of Venus in your lifetime.  With the 2012 transit of Venus just one year away we need to act now – to prepare teachers at workshops, to ask bands to perform John Phillip Sousa's Transit of Venus March, to confirm unobstructed telescopic sight-lines to the sun, to get into printed community calendars, to register for astronomy conferences, to donate to the cause--I gotta get going! 

Thanks for all you do to bring astronomy to the public, and for supporting our efforts to bring modern technology to the 2012 transit of Venus experience.

Chuck Bueter



Google's Zeitgeist feature rated the 2004 Transit of Venus as the world's #1 Most Popular Event for all of June 2004!  The 2012 transit of Venus is the last one in the 21st century--not seen again until 2117.  You don't want to miss this rare dance of the planets!

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