Ron DiIulio, the planetarium director and astronomy program director at the University of North Texas, gave a free public lecture at the UAA Planetarium June 1, offering background on the Venus Transit that will take place Tuesday, June 5 between 2:06-8:47 p.m. During the transit, if we have clear skies, viewers will be able to see the planet Venus move across the face of the sun.
If you missed DiIulio's talk or you'd like to review it before the Tuesday's Venus Transit, his Powerpoint and/or audio are available on the UAA podcast page or to view on the UAA You Tube channel. His talk is called "Captain Cook, Citizen Scientists and Venus Transits." As DiIulio points out, this event has "only been seen by humankind five times in history. If you miss it, you'll have to wait 124 year wait to see it again."
Open House Tuesday afternoon
In anticipation of the Venus Transit, the UAA Planetarium will host a free Open House from 1-9 p.m. Tuesday. Visitors can park free in the East campus garage, next to the ConocoPhillips Integrated Science Building (CPISB) and stroll up to the parking garage roof during the event, which should run between 2:06-8:47 p.m. There, Professor Andy Puckett and assistants will have several telescopes available to see the Venus Transit occur. This activity is weather-dependent.
But rain or shine, visitors are welcome to come into the Planetarium on the second floor for Venus Transit free demonstrations scheduled for 1:30, 3:30, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Also, a webcast of the Venus Transit will be available in Room 120 of the CPISB beginning at about 1:30 p.m.
Two Lower-48 universities have sent contingents to Alaska to view the Venus Transit. A team from the University of North Dakota will be up on the parking garage roof Tuesday. Citizen scientists from the University of North Texas (including Ron DiIulio) will be here or in Homer, capturing footage. In addition, a professor from Mexico arrived at UAA just a few days ago specifically to witness the Venus Transit from UAA. Look for him up on the parking garage Tuesday, too!
There's an app for that
Of course there is! We found it at Transit of Venus.org Astronomers Without Borders is sponsoring the free app to help crowd-source an experiment to measure the size of the solar system.