Transit of Venus

4 June 2012

The Transit of Venus holds a significant place in the history of Australia. When James Cook first set off from the shores of England, his stated objective was to observe the transit of Venus from Tahiti. The reason for this was to pin down the distance scale of the Solar System - important not only for science, but also for navigation. It was only after this vital mission was complete that he set out to find the southern continent. More than two centuries later, Australia's oldest university is proud to be observing the last transit of Venus of this generation.

The Transit of Venus
The Transit of Venus

The University of Sydney Physics Society will be holding a public viewing of the Transit of Venus on 6 June 2012, for the entirety of its duration. This will be the last time Venus will transit the Sun until 2117. In conjunction with the School of Physics, Faculty of Science and our sponsor Australia Telescopes, we will have several solar telescopes for observing, transit eye glasses and an internet stream of the transit as seen from other locations. We will also be collaborating with a group at Hong Kong Polytechnic to replicate James Cook's experiment, to find the distance from the Earth to the Sun using measurements of the transit. Dr.Karl Kruszelnicki and four researchers from the School of Physics, Profs. Tim Bedding, Iver Cairns and Mike Wheatland, and Dr. Paul Hancock, will be giving short talks throughout the day on the science of the Transit, exoplanets and sunspots.

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Contact: Vanessa Barratt

Phone: 9351 3135

Email: 3a2a294a1231175c1326471313065f0a1f4f0f070d1666121226670540