One week to Venus doing its fly-by

Transit of van...

Next Wednesday is the Transit of Venus.

I’ve written before about how significant the Transit of Venus is from scientific, historic and Australian points of view. This is an event that really ought to be seen – if for no other reason than that, unless you were literally born yesterday, the chances of you being able to see it again are pretty much nil.

The Sydney Observatory viewings are sold out but you can, with care, see the Transit anywhere – always assuming we get lucky with the weather. An easy alternative is to watch a live stream of the transit of Venus from the Sydney Observatory telescope on NineMSN.

If the weather is poor or you just want to get a sense of it through a bigger telescope, there’s the NASA live webcast from the Mauna Kea Observatories, Hawaii. That commences at 11:45am Hawaiian time which is actually 7:45am for us on Thursday.

And how can anything happen these days without there being an app for that? The free app gives you information on when the Transit will start at your location (8:16am in Sydney). It also

enables you to participate in a world-wide experiment: when the measurements of the times of contact from across the world are combined, the distance to the Sun may be found. This experiment was also performed during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries’ transits of Venus, and is now repeated with the tools of our modern age.

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