Transit of Venus: Public Observing

[Please also read our Transit Day Update!]

The Gettysburg College Observatory will be hosting a public observing event for the historic transit of Venus, weather permitting, on June 5 from 5:45 PM until the sun sun goes below the trees, about 7:30. Your hosts will include Dr. Jackie Milingo, astronomy professor; Dick Cooper, astronomy lab instructor; Mike Hayden, college network director and amateur astronomer; and me, Ian Clarke, planetarium director and astronomy lab instructor. We plan to set up a variety of equipment to safely observe this rare event (last until 2117). Here are the key details:

WHAT: Public Observing of the Transit of Venus.
The www.transitofvenus.org website and this video will get you started in understanding planetary transits of the sun.

WHEN: June 5, 2012, 5:45 PM to sunset.
The event will be held weather permitting. If it looks like there will be a chance of viewing the sun, we will be there to at least try. In the event of overcast skies with no breaks showing in satellite photos, we will not hold it. You may check this site or @GCPlanetarium twitter for an update the afternoon of the transit.

WHERE: Concrete pad outside the Gettysburg College Observatory.

The Observatory is located near the West Fields on the edge of campus. To get to the there, walk (do not drive) down the gravel road past the West Building (home of The Attic) toward the domed building. Only observatory staff are permitted to park at the observatory itself, so please allow time to park on campus and walk. If you cannot walk the distance but would still like to attend, email Ian Clarke ahead of time to make arrangements.There are no restrooms at the observatory, though there is usually a portable around the nearby athletic fields. This map, adapted from the campus map, shows the location of the observatory:

Finally, here is what the sky should look like from the observing platform at the start of the transit, just after 6:00 PM:

created with stellarium 0.11.1