Transit of Venus

On June 5th, 2012, the planet Venus will appear to travel across the face of the Sun. This event, called a Transit of Venus, is very rare, as there is generally one pair of Venus transits every 120 years. We had the first transit of the pair in 2004, so the transit in 2012 will be the last until 2117. Observing this transit will therefore be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

While the transit will be just barely visible from the Eastern Caribbean, we will not have a very good view of it as the transit will begin just before the sun sets (see the map at the attached link). Therefore, CARINA will be traveling to the Cayman Islands to observe and record the transit. We will be using the latest technology to broadcast a live image of the transit across the internet, allowing people in the Eastern Caribbean to remotely observe this rare event.

CARINA will be observing the transit in the Hydrogen Alpha spectrum, which should allow us to to accurately time the point of first contact between Venus and the Sun. This information will be collaborated with other groups timing this same event across the globe, and these measurements can then be used to independently confirm the distance of the Sun from the Earth. 

As the event approaches, we will keep everyone updated with the latest developments, and information will be provided about how the live broadcast can be viewed. I have also attached a link to NASA's page on the transit, where lots of information about the transit can be found, including a history of transit observations and information on how to view the transit safely.
 
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