June 5: The Last Transit of Venus Of Your Lifetime

The last Transit of Venus of your lifetime will happen on June 5, 2012, and the observatories, astronomy clubs, and planetariums of Michigan aim to help you see it.

What’s a transit?
A transit, from our perspective, is when an object in space passes between the earth and the sun. To simplify a bit: Venus transits in pairs every 105.5 years. There are eight years between each transit in the pair. Hopefully you saw the transit in 2004! If not, though, this is your last chance. The planet Mercury transits much more frequently, about every twenty years, but it’s much smaller than Venus, though.

Where can I see it?
In most of North America. To see the whole transit, you will have to visit Hawaii, Australia, or somewhere else in the Pacific, but you can see the first half in Michigan on the evening of June 5.

Michigan observing events after the break.

Even if there are clouds, most events will proceed, with the hope that the sun will shine through for at least some time. Some smaller events may be cancelled if the sky is completely clouded. If in doubt, contact the organizers ahead of time.

Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor Events
Detroit:
Wayne State – Physics Building – 6 PM – Wayne State University/GLAAC/WAS

Dearborn:
University of Michigan Dearborn Observatory / HFCC Hammond Planetarium – 5:30 PM – University of Michigan-Dearborn/Henry Ford Community College/HFCC Astronomy Club

Ferndale:
Ferndale Public Library – 6 PM – Ferndale Public Library/Science Fiction Book Club

Northwest:
Kensington Metropark – East Boat Launch – 5 PM – GLAAC/FAAC/WAS/7 Ponds
Download the flyer for the transit and post it everywhere!

Northeast:
Wolcott Mill Metropark – Stargate Observatory Metropark
Stony Creek Metropark – 5 PM – GLAAC/WAS

Ann Arbor:
Angell Hall – 5:30 PM – University of Michigan/GLAAC/Lowbrows
Ashley Street between Huron and Washington – 6 PM – University of Michigan/GLAAC/Lowbrows
Detroit Observatory – 5:30 PM – University of Michigan/Bentley Historical Library/Detroit Observatory
Traverwood Branch Library – 4:30 PM – GLAAC/Lowbrows/Ann Arbor District Library

Michigan Events outside Metro Detroit/Ann Arbor
Bay City:
Delta College Planetarium – 5:30 PM – Delta College/The Astronomical Unit/Sunset Astronomical Society/GLAAC

Monroe/Toledo:
Olander Park – 6 PM – Toledo Astronomical Association

Michiana:
TROVE, a massive celebration of the Transit of Venus – Michiana Astronomical Society

Benton Harbor/New Buffalo/Kalamazoo:
Warren Dunes State Park – 4 PM – Kalamazoo Astronomical Society

Lansing:
Abrams Planetarium Parking Ramp – 5:30 PM – Abrams Planetarium

Grand Rapids/Lowell/Grandville:
Throughout the area – four events – 6 PM – Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomy Association

Muskegon:
Filtration plant at Pierre Marquette Park on the lakeshore – 6 PM – Muskegon Astronomical Society. (Cancelled if seriously cloudy.)

Fremont:
Stephen F Wessling Observatory – 6 PM – Newaygo County Dark Sky Astronomers

Traverse City:
The Open Space (Grandview Parkway and Union St.) – 6 PM – Grand Traverse Astronomical Society

Mackinac Region:
The Headlands International Dark Sky Preserve – 4 PM – Northern Michigan Astronomy Club

Marquette:
M-28 east of Harvey – 5:30 PM – Marquette Astronomical Society

General Info
Don’t miss this awesome transit simulator.
Calculate transit times, visibility, and weather for your location.
Learn more about the transit of Venus.
… and more …
… and even more.
Check out NASA’s Transit page.

This information courtesy GLAAC.

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