Venus transit nearing: USF, FWAS announce viewing sites

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News release from the University of Saint Francis:

Venus transit nearing: USF, FWAS announce viewing sites

(June 1, 2012) – The Edwin Clark Schouweiler Memorial Planetarium at the University of Saint Francis (USF) and the Fort Wayne Astronomical Society (FWAS) invite county residents to join them Tuesday afternoon and evening to view the last transit of Venus for over 100 years.

USF and FWAS are teaming up to offer staffed viewing sites equipped with filter-protected solar viewing telescopes and devices for individual and group observation as Venus appears as a dot crossing the face of the sun. They remind everyone that special techniques and appropriate filters must be used to view the sun, and that looking or staring at the sun for even a few moments will result in blindness.

People near the east side of Fort Wayne have access to a safe telescope-equipped viewing site at Jefferson Township Park, east of New Haven on Dawkins Road at the northeast intersection of South Webster Road, from 5:30 p.m. through sunset. For those who prefer to watch the transit on the Internet, or if the weather precludes live viewing, the New Haven Branch of the Allen County Public Library, 648 Green St., New Haven, will provide an Internet viewing room until 8:45 p.m.

Residents near the west side of Fort Wayne have access to safe telescope-equipped viewing from the soccer field parking lot at the University of Saint Francis, off Leesburg road behind Achatz Hall of Science, from 5:30 p.m. through sunset. Rain or shine Internet viewing via NASA broadcast from Hawaii will take place in Gunderson Auditorium in Achatz Hall from 5:30 p.m. until the transit concludes after midnight.

The June 5-6 transit (depending upon one’s location on Earth) is the last of this century’s Venus transit pairs, with the first occurring in 2004. This is the last Venus transit until 2117. The second of the pair, in 2125, will be visible from Fort Wayne.

Detailed driving site maps can be found and downloaded on the sponsoring organizations’ websites. The planetarium website also has additional viewing tips, and a download link to instructions on how to build a safe paper and aluminum foil viewer for home use.

This transit of Venus will be visible from all of North America and a majority of locations around the world. If you are not going to be in Fort Wayne on June 5, check www.transitofvenus.org for further information and events in other communities around the world.

The Fort Wayne Astronomical Society is a not-for-profit organization, incorporated in 1959, for the purpose of public education in astronomy and related sciences. The society holds public meetings the third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at Schouweiler Planetarium. The society has moved its public observing site and conducts public observing sessions at Jefferson Township Park every clear Saturday evening, from April through November, led by experienced society members. Visit https://fortwayneastronomicalsociety.com.

For four decades, the Edwin Clark Schouweiler Memorial Planetarium has provided astronomy education experiences to the greater Fort Wayne area as an outreach of the University of Saint Francis. Visit www.sf.edu/planetarium.

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