Venus Transit


By Marissa Alejandre
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Flandrau Science Center at the University of Arizona Tuesday, June 5, to view the transit of Venus, which occurs only twice a century.

“It’s a once in a lifetime event and we’ve known about it for a couple months now so we decided to come out,” said Eric Sahr, a geology major and president of the UA’s chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.

Michael Magee, the technical director of the transit event said that the transit of Venus occurs when Venus passes between Earth and the sun. He said it is much more difficult to see than a solar eclipse because Venus is “a tiny, little, black dot moving across [the sun].”

Viewing the transit unaided can damage the eye, so event officials sold safe solar viewing glasses. Local amateur astronomers even brought solar-filtered telescopes so the public could safely catch a glimpse of the “Morning Star.”

Flandrau observers also watched live streaming of the transit from the sky center on Mt. Lemmon, as well as observatories around the world.

"Dr. Larry Lebofsky also gave a lecture series about the history and significance of the Venus transit," said David Acklam, a docent from the UA’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.

All of the exhibit areas in Flandrau were also open to the public for free.


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