Venus Transit Remote Webcast
IfA Science Education and Public Outreach Officer Gary Fujihara speaks
to the group assembled at Prince Kuhio Plaza to witness the Venus transit
via webcasts. Photo by Dan Birchall.
The 2004 transit of Venus could be witnessed in Europe, Asia, Australia,
and the eastern United States. On Monday, June 7 HST, people in East Hawaii
were able to see the transit as well, from inside the Prince Kuhio Plaza
shopping mall. IfA's outreach program set up display panels and computers
connected through the Internet to various webcasts across the globe for
a real-time remote viewing of Venus as it crossed the disk of the Sun.
Several hundred people attended. They were treated to a program that included
explanations of the rarity of the event due to orbital mechanics and the
historical significance of previous transits. These were supplemented by
video animations and movies, and a rendition of John Phillip Sousa's "Venus
Transit March," which was written after the 1882 transit. The public
was able to view the ingress of the planet onto the disk of the Sun, and
many remained to interact with the presenters. Free issues of Astronomy
magazine were distributed, along with bookmarks, posters, and handouts,
courtesy of the NASA Solar System Ambassador program.
Many students, who learned about the event through outreach to schools,
brought their families for a shared learning experience, and expressed
keen interest in the IfA hosting the next transit, which will be directly
observable in Hawaii, on June 5, 2012 HST.
For more information, see http://www.astroday.net/VenusTransit.html.