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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.