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Transit of Venus Program
(Next transit of Venus: June 5-6, 2012)

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Order the Transit of Venus Program

(Tranzitul lui Venus Programului/Romanian Translation)

On June 8, 2004, a rare transit of Venus occurred when the planet Venus passed between the sun and the earth.  Preparations are underway for the next transit of Venus in June 2012.   In historic expeditions, explorers spanned the globe to time transits of Venus, from which the scale of the solar system was calculated.  In the modern era, NASA's Kepler mission and other efforts are seeking earth-class planets by detecting planets transiting distant stars. 

The Transit of Venus program is a collection of educational resources for multiple users--planetarians, astronomy clubs, libraries, teachers, and other astronomy education enthusiasts.  The program features a combined DVD and data CD set, an audio CD, a slide set of 200+ images excerpted from the DVD, and supporting web pages.  While emphasis is on the 2004 transit of Venus, much applies to the June 2012 transit of Venus as well.

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Credit: Chuck Bueter Credit: Chuck Bueter Credit: Chuck Bueter Credit: Chuck Bueter Credit: Chuck Bueter Credit: Chuck Bueter
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Credit: NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio Credit: SOHO 
Credit: Astley Hall Museum and Art Gallery Credit: University of Oklahoma Libraries, History of Science Collection  Credit: SOHO 
Credit: Transit of Venus Program

(Click on thumbnail to enlarge image.)

The Transit of Venus DVD either can be viewed as a stand-alone DVD show or can be the foundation of a planetarium program.  The DVD is divided into chapters to give users the option of selecting specific topics tailored to the audience.  

The Data CD contains over 200 individual images excerpted from the DVD; contact sheets with thumbnail images; videos and animations as MPEG-1 files; the show script with image and time cues; and image credits and links.   

Over 200 images excerpted from the DVD are available as a Slide Set, which you can order (see below) at a group rate through the Great Lakes Planetarium before January 15, 2004.

An Audio CD contains the complete songs that are heard on the DVD show, including John Philip Sousa's Transit of Venus March; the AstroCapella song Dance of the Planets with accompanying lesson plan; and the music of Matt Rumley.

The collection of resources debuted at the 2003 Annual Conference of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA).  The following documents support the Transit of Venus program (If a dialog box asks for a network password, click Cancel):

GLPA members and non-members alike can purchase the combination DVD and data CD set, the audio CD, or the slide set from the GLPA while supplies last.  

  GLPA Members Non-GLPA Members
DVD and Data CD set $15.00  (first copy free) $15.00
200+ Slides $200.00 $225.00
Audio CD $5.00 $5.00

Note: The GLPA shipped a free copy of the DVD and the data CD to all GLPA members in December, 2003.  

You can place an order now, while supplies last, at the GLPA On-Line Store.

To prepare for the June 5-6, 2012, transit of Venus, see www.transitofvenus.org/2012.htm.  For general transit, we recommended these starters:

  • www.transitofvenus.org  
    Contains extensive links with thumbnail images, instructions on how to observe the transit of Venus safely, hands-on activities for all ages,  tutorials, historical images, current science missions, and much more.  

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)  
    Basic information about the 2012 transit of Venus; what it is; when, where, and how it can be seen; the significance of transits; links to student observing projects; and where to get more information.

  • http://sunearth.nasa.gov
    NASA Sun-Earth Day celebrates the transit of Venus

  • http://www.transitofvenus.nl
    Transit of Venus Project shows times of transit contacts, contains Transit of Venus phone app, has excellent historical record of sites at which past transits have been observed, and features an active blog.

  • Activities from Paper Plate Education:

  Starman Special by Jay Ryan: "Inferior Conjunctions and Transits of Venus"

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Hands-on activity to record 2012 transit of Venus on a paper plate akin to the first record of Jeremiah Horrocks in 1639.

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Hands-on activity that illustrates and explains the irregular frequency of transits of Venus.

For images of the 2004 transit of Venus, see www.transitofvenus.org/history/2004.

The resources for the Transit of Venus program were made possible in part by a 2003 Toyota TAPESTRY grant, which is funded by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. and is administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).  The Transit of Venus program is listed under the Physical Science Applications.  The Project Director is Art Klinger of the Penn-Harris-Madison Planetarium & Air/ Space Museum in Mishawaka, Indiana. 

The server space for this website is courtesy of the then- Office of Space Science (OSS) Center for Education and Outreach at DePaul University.

Caveat about believing everything you see on the Internet (including here).

Your comments, suggestions, and educational contributions are always welcome.  Please e-mail us at bueter@transitofvenus.org.

Paper Plate Education
"Serving the Universe on a Paper Plate"


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Copyright 2012 Chuck Bueter.  All rights reserved.