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Transit of Venus Program
Errata and Notes

Errata and notes for the Transit of Venus program are listed here in no particular order.  As the transit approaches, we will upload notes, corrections, and user input as they arrive.  Please send your comments to bueter@transitofvenus.org

Be sure to see the "What's New" page at http://www.transitofvenus.org/whatsnew.htm for the latest additions to the transit of Venus website.  Many items appropriate for planetarians will appear there.

April 16

Image 207.jpg depicts the halo around Venus, but it inadvertently shows the halo encircling the whole planet.  The halo would only be seen against the black background outside of the sun's limb, not around any portion of the planet that appears upon the sun.

April 12

Added link to "Errata" page:
Comments for users of the Transit of Venus program, read to planetarians at the 2003 Annual Conference of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association (G).

April 11

Jay Pasachoff notes two blunders: 
"... the narrator mispronounced "Le Gentil'; it ends in a silent 'l.'  Also, the word 'enormity' was used instead of 'enormousness' near the end; 'enormity' means something bad, not something large."  

I am seeking the original source of the assertion that Ben Franklin issued a written pass to foreign vessels.  If you find it, please send the reference to bueter@transitofvenus.org.   Thanks.

Jim Manning wrote a kind review of the Transit of Venus DVD/CD set in the March issue of the Planetarian.  

Astronomy enthusiasts are welcome to join our transit of Venus celebration in northern Indiana.  See www.transitofvenus.org/roadtrip.htm for details.  

March 1

Per Brian Grieg, image 070.jpg entitled Mappemonde, which is labeled as a map of earth by Delisle, is a Dutch map.  Delisle made a true mappemonde based on a Paris meridian, whereas James Ferguson translated the map and based it on a Greenwich meridian.  Grieg has found the original colored version of Delisle's map, and will upload it shortly.   See 18th Century Transits at http://www.melbourneobservatory.com/ in the interim.

New NASA video clip zooms out from Venus and shows transit from near-Earth orbit:
Venus Transit Animation, from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio.

2004 (above)


December 2003

  • Add Eli Maor, author of June 8, 2004 --Venus in Transit, to credits.
  • Add Jeff Hester and Paul Scowen (Arizona State University) and NASA to credits for their "Pillars of Creation" image.  
  • Add ESA to credits for their role with NASA in the SOHO mission and for the SOHO images.
  • Correct spelling is Loras Schissel, conductor of the Virginia Grand Military Band.
  • Add respective animators of the Kepler video sequences to credits.


  • Jeremiah Horrocks projected an image onto a 6-inch sheet of paper.  The stained glass window shows it apparently projected onto a large piece of cloth.  The dot representing Venus is not in its 1639 position, and the sun is shown in yellow only for clarity.  
  • Note the anticipated resolution of the Space Interferometry Mission (SIMS), beyond the "human hair from ten miles away" analogy.  (http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov


Listening to parallax.

parallax_dome.gif (15446 bytes)



At the parallax portion of the DVD, consider doing the thumb demonstration live.  Here is another parallax demo you can try in the planetarium.  

Project an image of the sun just above the springline.  Hold a ball on a stick to simulate Venus and walk from left to right in front of the visitors so that Venus appears in front of the projection (for some of them) without the projected sun image casting a shadow.  Have the visitors clap when Venus first appears to "touch" the left edge of the sun, for the duration of the simulated transit, and until Venus clears the sun.  

With practice, you can show how different parts of the room (representing observers spread across the earth) see the transit occurring at different times.  The clapping should start at one side of the room and finish at the other.



     Parallax diagrams not used.

The Transit of Venus After Baby Food Jars & Gun Scopes; a 21st century admonition to planetarians; from Chuck Bueter.

Comments for users of the Transit of Venus program, read to planetarians at the 2003 Annual Conference of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association (G), including this excerpt:  

The transit of Venus is an excellent opportunity for fans of multi-disciplinary curriculum.  Itís got it allóa rich history; practical applications of math; pure astronomy; geography; social issues like nationalism and global cooperation; and the philosophical questions of life on other worlds.  Bottom line: the transit of Venus is a great story, and great stories make great planetarium experiences for your visitors.


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