UCF to host viewing party for Venus' transit
Telescopes to be set up on top of Garage A
Published: Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 14:06
The UCF Robinson Observatory is inviting students and the Orlando community to come witness Venus transit across the sun, an event that won't happen again until the year 2117.
The viewing party will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday on top of Garage A, which is thought to be the best location for viewing. The transit should be visible until just after sunset at 8:15 p.m.
Volunteers from UCF's Planetary Sciences Group and the local Astronomy Society will have telescopes and specialized glass set up for the public to view the transit.
“It should be really exciting,” Yan Fernandez, an associate professor at UCF who specializes in comets and asteroids and who will be at the viewing, said in a press release. “This event in the 18th and 19th Centuries was very important. It was one of the ways scientists in Europe tried to measure the absolute distance from the earth to the Sun. We have better methods now, but it’s still really quite the sight to see, especially since the next one won’t happen for 105 years.”
Anyone who does not have a UCF parking permit will have to buy a parking pass for $3, but there will be a limited amount of free parking.
The staff of the Robinson Observatory urges all attendees to use proper precautions and to never stare directly at the sun.
The Robinson Observatory invites the public to star gaze several times during the semester, the open house schedule is available on their website.
The National Solar Observatory will be posting live updates to their website for anyone who is not able to see the transit firsthand.