For Immediate Release:
April 12, 2012
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367
Transit of Venus - June 5, 2012
June 5, 2012
3:09 p.m. to 9:49 p.m. PDT
[caption id="attachment_5714" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Image enhanced, original courtesy Igor Ruderman, UC Berkeley"][/caption]
On June 5, 2012, the Exploratorium presents a live webcast for the viewing of the transit of Venus, an astronomical phenomenon that will not occur again until the years 2117 and 2125.
An Exploratorium crew is webcasting this special 6.5-hour event live from the Mauna Loa Observatory on the big island of Hawaii. A telescope feed will be accompanied by audio commentary every 30 minutes. Visitors to the Exploratorium can view the phenomenon on large screens during museum hours and others worldwide can watch it via the Internet at http://www.exploratorium.edu/venus.
Proper safety eye wear (eclipse glasses or #14 welders’ glasses) are required to view the transit directly or learn how to make your own solar viewer at:
In addition to making this program available on the Internet, the feed is also shared with a variety of other museums and planetariums, including the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History, the Sydney Observatory, the New York Science Festival, and the California Academy of Science.
When the earth, Venus, and the sun line up, we can see Venus transit or travel across the face of the sun like a speck. These rare alignments are scientifically important because they allowed researchers to determine a close estimate of the distance from the earth to the sun, about 93 million miles. This distance is also known as an astronomical unit (AU). In turn, scientists used this information to calculate the dimensions of the entire solar system.
These transits occur in pairs that are eight years apart and then don’t happen again for more than a hundred years. This will be the last chance in this century to witness a transit of Venus—but people in many parts of the world, including North America, Europe, Asia, and eastern Africa, will be able to see at least part of the transit in person. The 2012 transit follows the transit of 2004. The last two previous Venus transits were in 1874 and 1882.
The Mauna Loa Observatory is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) facility. NOAA is engaged in a five-year educational partnership with the Exploratorium to bring environmental science and earth observation capabilities to the museum's future location at San Francisco’s Pier 15. As part of its long-term science mission, NOAA tracks atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from five baseline observatories, including one near the top of Hawaii's big island volcano.
Some Local Dates and Times
San Francisco: June 5, 3:09 p.m. to 9:49 p.m. PDT
Mauna Loa Observatory: June 5, 12: 09 p.m. to 6: 49 p.m. HADT
New York: June 5, 6:09 p.m. to June 6, 12:49 a.m. EDT
Greenwich: June 5, 11:09 p.m. to June 6, 5:49 a.m. BST
Sydney: June 6, 8:09 a.m. to 2:49 p.m. EST
Hours of Operation & New Evening Hours
Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm; every Thursday evening adults only (ages 18 and up) 6pm-10pm.
$25 for adults, with lower rates for SF Bay Area residents, youth, seniors, students, teachers and the disabled. Tickets available at the door and advance tickets available online at www.exploratorium.edu/visit/tickets.
The Exploratorium is easily accessible by public transit. Convenient parking is available nearby. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit/location-directions.
About the Exploratorium
The Exploratorium is the global leader in informal learning, igniting curiosity and inspiring creativity in people of all ages. The world-renowned science museum creates original, interactive exhibits, on display at more than 1,000 science centers, museums and public spaces around the world. Dedicated to education reform in and out of the classroom, the Exploratorium is a premier professional development center for educators and a creator of award-winning educational resources. Since 1969, the Exploratorium has influenced generations of entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, teachers, students, children, museum professionals and everyday doers, reaching nearly 180 million people annually from around the globe. On April 17, 2013, the Exploratorium opened at Pier 15 in the heart of San Francisco's Embarcadero, where it will celebrate a new era of experiences that encourage critical thinking and awaken wonder for generations to come. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit.
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367