June 5 – Transit of Venus

On Tuesday, June 5 from 4:45 pm until 8:00 pm, the Lake Afton Public Observatory will be open for a very special event … the transit of Venus. A transit of Venus occurs when Venus passes directly between the sun and Earth. Though it seems like this phenomenon should happen frequently, it is quite rare. Venus transits come in pairs that are eight years apart, followed by spans of over 100 years of no transits. After the June 2012 transit of Venus (the last one in your lifetime), your great grandchildren may get to witness the next such alignment on December 10, 2117.

Everyone knows how dangerous it is to look directly at the sun without proper eye protection. Even the darkest sun glasses are not nearly dark enough to protect your eyes. In fact, only #14 or darker welding masks are dark enough to be used to look directly at the sun. In order to view the transit of Venus it will be necessary to use a telescope and since telescopes gather much more light than your eyes, it is even more important that a proper solar filter be used for safe viewing. For any program involving the observation of the sun, the Lake Afton Public Observatory uses special solar filters on their telescopes that only allow one one millionth of the light through.

For the Venus transit, the Observatory will open its doors at 4:45 pm giving people a few minutes to arrive and get settled. At 5:01 Venus will begin entering the huge solar disc and by 5:18, it will be completely inside the sun’s disc. At this point, Venus will appear as a small dark brown or black circle as it passes across the Sun’s huge face. Unfortunately, here in the Wichita area we will not get to see the end of the transit because the sun will set by the time Venus is about half way through its transit.

Admission:
$5.00 for adults
$3.00 for ages 6 – 12
Under six admitted free
Family Rate: Mon, Dad, and all their immediate children – $15.00
Please note that we are unable to accept credit or debit cards

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