|View the rare transit of Venus safely at Morehead Planetarium June 5|
|Monday, May 21, 2012|
If you miss the transit of Venus this year, you’ll probably never see another one. The next one won’t occur until 2117.
The transit of Venus occurs when the planet Venus passes directly between Earth and the sun, and the distant planet can be seen as a small dot gliding slowly across the face of the sun. Historically, this rare alignment is how the size of the solar system was measured.
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will offer unique and safe ways to view the transit of Venus during “Family Science Event: Transit of Venus” 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. June 5. The free public event will be held rain or shine.
Morehead will provide special eclipse glasses for each family to ensure safe viewing, and astronomers will share up-close views of the transit through solar telescopes, which offer additional protection. These precautions are necessary because viewing the sun without appropriate eye protection (such as special eclipse glasses that are much darker than regular sunglasses) can cause permanent eye damage.
The event will include a unique transit-themed star show in Morehead’s fulldome planetarium, talks by NASA Solar System Ambassadors Mike Malaska and Tony Rice, a “planet walk” and children’s craft activities led by staff from Morehead and from Kidzu Children’s Museum.
“Whether you’re 5 or 85, Morehead has an activity planned for you,” said Morehead educator Amy Sayle, who is coordinating the event. “This is your last chance until the next century to see a transit of Venus, so don’t miss it.”
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center: www.moreheadplanetarium.org, (919) 962-1236.