Watch Venus Travel Across the Sun for Last Time This Century

From: John C. Wells Planetarium

The public is invited to a pair of free events at James Madison University to learn about and to watch Venus travel across the face of the Sun for the last time this century.

Venus will traverse the face of the sun at 6:04 p.m. Tuesday, June 5. People can watch this event from the JMU Astronomy Park, located behind the Physics and Chemistry Building on the JMU campus east of Interstate 81. Parking will be available in Lot D across from the Physics and Chemistry Building.

Solar telescopes and special eyeglasses will be provided so attendees can look into the sun to see the event. If Tuesday is cloudy, a webcast of the event will be shown in Room 1302 of the Health and Human Services building, which is connected to the Physics and Chemistry Building.

Tuesday's transit will be the last time the event will be visible from Earth until 2117. The transit of Venus across the face of the sun established the size of the Solar System and the distance between the Earth and Sun.

Dr. Geary Albright of the JMU physics and astronomy department will give a talk, "The Transit of Venus: The Key to Unlocking the Mystery of the Size of the Solar System," at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 2 at the planetarium in Miller Hall. The talk will highlight the historical and scientific importance of transit events like this in the past as well as currently.

Both events are free.

For more information, visit the John C. Wells Planetarium website.

June 1, 2012