The Physics & Astronomy Department at Valparaiso University hosted a public viewing of the Transit of Venus on June 5, 2012 from 5:00 pm until sunset. A planetary transit occurs when the planet passes in front of the Sun as seen from the Earth. Transits only occur for Mercury and Venus, with transits of Venus occurring in pairs about every 105 years. This rare event will not be visible again until the year 2117!
Well over 500 people from northwest Indiana visited the Valparaiso University Observatory for the event. The bright sunny skies added to the festive atmosphere. Folks of all ages looked through eclipse glasses and a collection of telescopes that filtered out the bright sunlight for direct viewing. They also could see a projected image on a screen or captured video images that were displayed on a monitor. Exclamations of “awesome,” “neat,” “amazing” were heard as people got a view of the dark dot of Venus displayed against the face of the Sun.
Several videos created by Paul Nord are available on YouTube. Follow the links below to navigate to those videos:
Below are a few pictures of the event taken by Lucy Hrivnak: