The last Venus transit of the century!

 

On June 5th, 2012, the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Wayne State University hosted a public viewing event for the last transit of Venus of our lifetime. 

The event was widely advertised and we were hoping lots of people would come (see poster). We were not disappointed. Around 5 PM, we were a little concerned by the heavy cloud coverage. Fortunately, good things sometime happen to those who wait... and eventually the sky did clear. In the end, we had  beautiful sunshine, and a wonderful view of planet Venus transiting across the Sun's disk.

 

Thanks to our friends, we had five telescopes mounted on the roof of the builiding ready for the event. Our numerous visitors were able to all enjoy a brief viewing of the transit.

And what a sight it was! A crisp black disk on the glowing surface of the Sun! There were several extras we did not order as well: several large sunspots were clearly visible on the Sun's disk. 


 
Hundreds of people came to enjoy this unique event; even folks from the news media. Our visitors also got to enjoy a planetarium show, and our phantastic physics demonstrations.
 
This was a lot of fun! We wish we could do this every year, but the next one is not until 2117.
 

C.P.