U.Va. Astronomers To Host June 8 Observation Of Planet’s
Transit Across Sun’s Face
May 26, 2004 --
WHAT: Viewing of Venus passing in front of the Sun
8, 6-7:30 a.m.
Park, on U.Va.’s North Grounds (Arlington Blvd,
turn right on Massie Rd. to parking lot.)
the morning of June 8, the planet Venus will pass in front of
the sun as seen
from Earth. Such events, called transits,
The last was in December of 1882. Historically, transits
of Venus were used, with limited success, to determine the distance
the Earth to the sun.
celebrate the event, the University of Virginia Astronomy Department
will host a viewing event at
The Park on North
Grounds near the
School of Law (Arlington Blvd, turn right on Massie Rd.
to parking lot) from 6 to 7:30 a.m. Eight to ten telescopes
will be in place
with safe solar viewing filters. Astronomers will be on
hand to explain the event and answer questions.
transit will be in progress at sunrise at 5:51 a.m. and Venus
as a small black dot shadowed against
bright surface of the sun. The planet will begin to pass
from in front of the sun at 7:06 a.m. and will completely
by 7:26 a.m.
Edward Murphy, (434) 924-4890, or Richard Patterson,