Original short articles introduce the arts, science, math, publications, and teacher resources related to the Transit of Venus.  Be sure to click the individual menu items in the order viagra now navigation bar, left, for many external links related to these topics. 

Links: Music

Logo for band Transit of Venushttp://transitofvenusproject.com/
Transit of Venus is self-described as "Some kind of Glam Indie Pop Rock thing."  Download the free Morning Star soundtrack to the transit of Venus trailer (to be released mid-January 2012).  Also in production (as of August 2010) is new album that features LeGentil and www.karlbarth.nl fictional account of his wife.  Several songs and video available for free download, with more for sale.

Cover page of John Philip Sousa's http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/html/venus/venus-home.html
Music and literature, with emphasis on John Philip Sousa.  The Library of Congress section 'Browse Materials' has three links to
  1. Sousa's Score/parts, audio, sheet music. Contains sound recording performed by the Virginia Grand Military band in 2003 with Loris Schissel conducting; Transit of Venus March 1883 notated music with original 1883 scoring and instruments; and and Transit of Venus March notated music, an updated arrangement of Sousa's original 1883 score so that this march could be played on modern instruments. This score is a 12-page scoring in 23 parts and is available as a PDF file directly at the following URL http://lcweb2.loc.gov/natlib/ihas/service/transit/100010996/100010996.pdf. Thanks go to the IMAGE satellite E&PO program and to Mr. Loris Schissel and good choice canadian online pharmacy levitra Susan Clermont at the Performing Arts Reading Room.
  2. Essay by Dr. Sten Odenwald about the significance of the transit of Venus.
  3. Related materials, including 12 additional transit-related music resources.

The original music page from 2004 Sun-Earth Day is at http://sunearthday.nasa.gov/2012/transit/sousa.php.

Penn High School Orchestra performs Sousa's Transit of Venus Marchhttp://youtu.be/-rNQFUqt49Q
Penn High School Orchestra performs John Philip Sousa's Transit of Venus March in 2004.

Guy Ottewell's 2004 Cover/education/the-arts/149-song-mackey
Song by New Zealand folksinger Willow Mackey, which she composed for 1969 bicentennial of James Cooks voyage.  From Guy Ottewell.  Musician Matt Rumley records Ballad of James Cook, from the http://www.markwellgroup.com.au/cialis-and-diarrhea words and music of Willow Mackey.  Art Gorman and Jeff Tuholski also perform Young James Cook.

Music: Transit Galophttp://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/html/venus/venus-othermusic.html
Collection of other 18th and 19th century music related to the transit of Venus.  From Library of Congress, Music Division.

Three Days Grace album: Transit of Venus
Three Days Grace album entitled Transit of Venus.  "Venus is passing by..." in song Sign of the Times.  Songs on YouTube at http://youtu.be/2yIoby6dQuc.

Artwork for band Transit of Venushttp://www.transitvenus.com/
Two New York musicians release 2008 album for free download under the pharmacy levitra band name Transit Venus.

Read more: Links: Music


Links: Video & New Media

Logo for Facebook Group

Transit of Venus Group features dialogue and links on Facebook.

YouTube features transit of Venus videoshttp://www.youtube.com/user/transitvenus
VenusTransit on YouTube lists videos related to the transit of Venus.  Featured video is a four-minute trailer, below, available as full-dome video for digital theaters and planetariums. 

Transit of Venus Project Blog, from Steven van Roode.

Twitter: Transit of Venushttps://twitter.com/#%21/tov2012
@tov2012 is the Twitter account that steers you to transit-related content; maintained by Steven van Roode

Collection of NASA videos related to Transit of Venus http://sunearthday.nasa.gov/2012/multimedia/
Transit of Venus multmedia from NASA Sun-Earth Day.

our last Transit of Venus, multiple videos from Outreach Europlanet.

Videos from all talks at Transit of Venus 2012 Symposium at University of Toronto, 28 April 2012.

NASA Sun-Earth Day collection of transit of Venus videos.

Kepler Mission animations include field of view http://kepler.nasa.gov/multimedia/animations/
Kepler mission provides excellent animations of Science Concepts, Artist Concepts, and Types of Worlds. 

Logo for NASA Year of the Solar Systemhttp://solarsystem.nasa.gov/yss/display.cfm?Year=2012&Month=6&Tab=Classrooms
NASA Year of the Solar System Educational Resources offer data, downloadable products, images, video, podcasts, animations, interactives, and networks.

Pointing location of Hubble test, looking at moon for transit of Venus test.http://vimeo.com/channels/ourlasttransitofvenus
Our Last Transit of Venus is a documentary highlighting three groups: "scientists who will observe the Transit to study Venus and exoplanets, amateurs and sws-bl.com students who will redo the experiment of determining the size of the Solar System and profession and/or amateur historians with the intention to observe the Transit with 18th and 19th century instruments."

Transit of Venus historical recap on Prezi.comhttp://prezi.com/3ytapkszv2rh/transit-of-venus/
Non-linear images and text introduce the chronology of Transit of Venus events; limited text in this version, so you can narrate while presenting and move around or skip sections at will. Best viewed in full screen; see Prezi website for tips if you are projecting this presentation.  Transit of Venus is my inaugural effort on Prezi.

Transit of Venus Image Blast is a compilation of many images that are almost all my own copyright or public domain, such as NASA content.  Requires a while to download fully.  Images may be used freely for educational purposes.

NASA animation of Transit of Venus, zooming out from surface of Venushttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Transit_of_Venus_animation.ogg#globalusage
NASA animation zooms out from the surface of Venus to beyond earth's orbit, showing a transit of Venus.

NASA animation of Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) aligned for 2012 Transit of Venushttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QtZFkDpemY&feature=player_embedded
NASA SDO animation shows the Solar Dynamics Observatory aligned to witness the wow)) lowest levitra price 2012 transit of Venus.  A higher-res version is available for free download from VenusTransit_2012158.wmv

Sailing ship fires cannon; from UNESCO-17 videohttp://youtu.be/41f2gN0decg
UNESCO -17- Science and Illustration: The Transit of Venus is a high-quality production that chronicles the challenging 18th century expeditions of Chappe, Hell, Cook and others.  Video conveys the confluence of factors in the Age of Enlightenment that propelled the global quest to determine the size of the solar system; 46 minutes.

Podcast: http://365daysofastronomy.org/2009/12/05/december-5th-the-celestial-alignment-of-2012/
"Celestial Alignment of 2012" is featured on the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast for December 5, 2009; by Chuck Bueter. 

Podcast: http://365daysofastronomy.org/2011/06/05/june-5th-transit-of-venus/
Astronomer Jay Pasachoff reflects on past transits of Venus while anticipating the 2012 event and the 5 mg cialis science to be gleaned from it.

Transit of Venus blog by Nat Waddell

TRACE satellite image in visible lighthttp://trace.lmsal.com/transits/venus_2004/
TRACE spacecraft is the only satellite to observe the 2004 transit of Venus in visible.  Among this collection of videos is one showing the "black drop" effect.  TRACE scientists describe this as the "consequence of the telescope point-spread function and, more interestingly, the light-scattering properties of the atmosphere of Venus."

GOES spacecraft images 2004 transit of Venushttp://sxidata.ngdc.noaa.gov/archive/browse/special/SXI_SPECIAL_20040608_VENUS_09H.MPG
In images from the GOES spacecraft's Solar X-Ray Imager (SXI), Venus appears as a dark disk about 1/30th the Sun’s apparent diameter. Since the Sun’s corona extends well above the disk, Venus was visible in silhouette for approximately 9 hours, versus the 6 hours seen from Earth. Video  SXI_SPECIAL_20040608_VENUS_09H.MPG (1.9 MB MPEG-1, 7 sec.) from NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center.

Launchpad: Transits by invites you to "discover how scientists used the look there generic viagra effective last Venus transit and only now cialis uk a geometric technique called parallax to verify the distance between sun and Earth. Find out what scientists hope to learn the next time Venus makes a shadow on the face of the sun."  From NASA eClips.

Penn High School Orchestra performs Sousa's Transit of Venus Marchhttp://youtu.be/-rNQFUqt49Q
Penn High School Orchestra performs John Philip Sousa's Transit of Venus March in 2004.

Logo for 3D Sun apphttp://3dsun.org/
Free app for iPhone and iTouch gives daily updates on solar activity with images and text courtesy of Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO).  Available for free download at the iTunes App Store at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/3d-sun/id347089078.

NASA Connect segment that explains the Venus Transit and compares it to a solar eclipse.

User- adjustable Applets about the transit of Venus; by Jürgen Giesen; (available in English and German)..

Jules Janssen uses Jules Janssen uses "photographic revolver" to capture series of images for 1874 transit of Venus.  German text at http://kuffner-sternwarte.at/2004/Venustransit/1874.html.  Note: Though Janssen did use his device for the 1874 event, this extant series of images may have been from a simulated transit as part of a test by Janssen. 


The design of Janssen's "photographic revolver" is illustrated and described; from NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS).  There are two articles, one after the other, as noted by Peter Abrahams:
  • De la Rue, Warren.  On a Piece of Apparatus for carrying out M. Janssen's Method of Time-Photographic Observations of the Transit of Venus. M.N.R.A.S. 34 (May 1874) 347-353.  
  • Capello, J. On an Apparatus Designed for the Photographic Record of the Transit of Venus.  M.N.R.A.S. 34 (May 1874) 354-356  (translation of letter to De la Rue.

Images and videos from Swedish 1-meter Solar Telescopehttp://vt-2004.solarphysics.kva.se/movies/
Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope on La Palma; images and movies include black drop effect and buy viagra cheap generic the "elusive aureole outlining the disk of Venus. It is caused by sunlight being refracted towards us in the atmosphere of the planet."

Video of 1882 Transit of Venus re-animated from David Peck Todd's glass negatives; by Anthony Misch and William Sheehan.

TRACE spacecraft images and video showing Venus outside Sun's limbTRACE spacecraft images and videohttp://vestige.lmsal.com/TRACE/transits/venus_2004/
From the perspective of the TRACE spacecraft, including movies with time codes.

Explaining the Transit of Venus on a children's television show called 'Totally Wild', with emphasis on James Cook's effort.

Photometer aimed at orrery simulates Kepler mission.http://www.wnit.org/outdoorelements/1000/1003/1003.html
Planetarium director Ruth Craft uses a photometer and orrery to simulate the Kepler spacecraft monitoring a star with transiting planets.  In the demonstration, computer software generates a light curve that is projected on the domed ceiling, where visitors can discern the presence and characteristics of companion planets.  See How the Kepler Telescope Works (Segment #3 of Episode #1003); from WNIT Outdoor Elements.

Two chords show path of Venus across sun for two separated observers due to parallax. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaihjCw76vc
Using Parallax Angle of Venus to Measure Distance to Sun. Video shows how two observers at different locations on earth see two distinct chords across the sun.  The angular distance divided by two is the parallax angle of Venus, which can mathematically yield the distance from earth to the sun. 

Fingers pinched together simulate black drop effect.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gm_kZd_wGkE&feature=player_embedded
Black Drop Effect Simulated With Pinched Fingers.  Simulate the black drop effect that is sometimes seen during a transit of Venus by nearly pinching your fingers together.  Note the ligament that seems to form just between them just before they seem to touch.

Crowd Gathers to Witness 2004 Transit of Venushttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS1O6C2dQ40
A crowd gathered before sunrise on June 8, 2004, to witness the rare Transit of Venus in Mishawaka, Indiana, USA. Though clouds threatened to obscure the spectacle, the sun emerged in time for the audience to observe through telescopes, rear projection screens, and solar viewers. An audible time signal in the background allowed individuals to time the instant when the black dot of Venus just touched the inside edge of the sun, as global expeditions had done in past centuries. The last transit of Venus in our lifetimes occurs June 5-6, 2012.  

South Africa map with observation sites for previous transits of Venus.http://youtu.be/wp9hslrab70
IAU Talk: Transit of Venus Observations and Relics in South Africa.  Willie Koorts talk at the 2006 IAU meeting in Prague, present via video in absentia, covers the full Transit of Venus history in South Africa from 1761 thru 2004.

Video: Discover how scientists used the last Venus transit and a geometric technique called parallax to verify the distance between sun and Earth. Find out what scientists hope to learn the next time Venus makes a shadow on the face of the sun. Launchpad: Transits courtesy of NASA eClips.

Video: Transit of Venus: Passing the Sun, a 2004 lecture by Jay Pasachoff, gives historical background of transit of Venus and details how limb darkening and the telescope's point spread function contribute to the black drop effect.  

Video: English Bites-Transit of Venus gives historical background of the transit of Venus with emphasis on James Cook's expedition, then breaks down the reporter's word choice in a lesson in English vocabulary; from the Learn English website of the Australia Network.

Stargazers Dean Regas and James Albury give a transit of Venus tourhttp://video.wpbt2.org/video/2215560518
Venus in Transit, 5-minute version from StarGazers for April 9-15, 2012; from PBS station WPBT.  Script(s) at http://www.stargazersonline.org/episodes/1215.html


Podcast interview with Mark Anderson, author of The Day the World Discovered the Sun, explains the the value of the transit of Venus expeditions for navigational gain.

Links: Teacher Resources

Create Your Own Stained Glass Window.  Kids design their own window with words and images, akin to those windows in St. Michael's Church in Hoole, England, which celebrate the transit of Venus.

inclined.jpg (23247 bytes) http://transitofvenus.nl/wp/2012/02/16/pattern-on-a-paper-plate/
Hands-on activity that illustrates and explains the frequency of transits of Venus using simple paper plates.  Now available as PDF file with illustrations, improved from original posting at http://analyzer.depaul.edu/paperplate/Transit%20of%20Venus/transit_frequency.htm

Logo for ASP's "The Universe in the Classroom" newsletterhttp://astrosociety.org/education/publications/tnl/78/78.html
The Fall 2011 issue of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) newsletter, The Universe in the Classroom, features the transit of Venus in Don't Miss the Transit of Venus in 2012: It's Your Last Chance Until 2117. The article, authored by Chuck Bueter, recounts historical expeditions and technological gains through the centuries while looking forward to Kepler Mission findings using the transit method.  The article is complemented with links to hands-on activities and online resources.

Mathematical Problems Featuring Transit Applications, by Dr. Sten Odenwald.http://sunearthday.nasa.gov/2012/articles/ttt_75.php
Mathematical Problems Featuring Transit Applications, by Dr. Sten Odenwald.  Transit Math book from NASA opens with dozens of math problems and http://saltlakewebcentral.com/cheap-cialis-online answers related to eclipses, transits, and occultations, with an emphasis on transits of Venus through the centuries.  Problems align with AAAS Project: 2061 Benchmarks as detailed in a Mathematics Topic Matrix. The PDF document includes summaries of the historic aspects of the transit and a diverse collection of modern images and historic images alike.  Stated emphasis for Transit Introduction is on grades 3-8, while Transit Math challenges grades 5-12. "The problems were created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data...The problems were designed to be ‘one-pagers’ with a detailed Answer Key as a second page."

Transiting exoplanet activity image from workbookhttp://transitofvenus.nl/wp/2011/11/08/classroom-activities/
Free workbook (http://www.transitofvenus.nl/files/TransitOfVenus.pdf) from Steven van Roode addresses the frequency of the transit of Venus, angular measurements, parallax measurements to establish distances, and finding the physical properties of exoplanets from light curves.  Also available as hard copy.

Transit of Venus Featured in March 2012 issue of Planetarian journal docs/Planetarian-March2012.pdf
Going All Out For Venus, an article in the March 2012 issue of Planetarian, Journal of the International Planetarium Society, summarizes transit of Venus history, outlines related education outreach, and includes sidebars about Kepler mission and Sun-Earth Day events; written by Chuck Bueter.  Reprinted with permission of the International Planetarium Society (IPS).

NASA Kepler spacecrafthttp://kepler.nasa.gov/education
Abundant education resources from NASA Kepler mission, which uses the transit method to detect habitable planets around distant stars.   Excellent website includes:

Logo for NASA PlanetQuesthttp://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/
PlanetQuest Exoplanet Exploration is an engaging site for news and multimedia about NASA's search for new worlds.  Keep pace with current tally of new and candidate planets; get your questions answered by Astronomer Steve; create your planet with Extreme Makeover; check out the great videos from multiple NASA missions, and always see the latest exoplanet news at the forefront of science.

Logo for NASA Year of the Solar Systemhttp://solarsystem.nasa.gov/yss/display.cfm?Year=2012&Month=6&Tab=Classrooms
NASA Year of the Solar System for the classroom links to multiple activities by grade level with descriptions.

 label-dvd.jpg (73931 bytes) label-data.jpg (52829 bytes) label-audio.jpg (73630 bytes)http://analyzer.depaul.edu/paperplate/transit.htm
The Transit of Venus program features a combined DVD and data CD set, an audio CD, a slide set of 200+ images, and supporting web pages.  The DVD, though emphasizing the 2004 transit of Venus, can be used as a stand-alone show or as part of a planetarium package.  The data CD contains 200+ images, mpeg-1 movie clips, and supporting documents.  See http://analyzer.depaul.edu/paperplate/transit.htm for more information, including thumbnails of all images and an ordering form.  From the Great Lakes Planetarium Association.

Planet transiting pixelated star from t=0 to t=14.education/science-math/316-activity-pixel-count
Pixel Count Activity has student plot the decrease in light received from a star that has a planet transiting it.

Activity from NASA Connecthttp://www.knowitall.org/nasa/pdf/connect/Venus_Transit.pdf
Venus Transit, Educator Guide with Activities in Mathematics, Science, and Technology; from NASA Connect.

Numbers of Planet Candidates from worksheet

Measure the Diameter of the Sun, from Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network

Eclipses, transits, and extra solar planets, a workshop by Linda Shore, Paul Doherty and Eric Muller

Cover of Celestial Almanack, by Jay Ryaneducation/teacher-resources/331-the-sky-for-homeschoolers-a-beyond
Jay Ryan illustrates Celestial Almanack, a celestial guide for observing the sky with emphasis on the Christian homeschoolers audience but valuable for all casual observers.  Online guide continues his quality illustrations and generic viagra soft tabs descriptions leading up to the 2012 transit of Venus.

In the current epoch, transits of Venus generally occur in pairs--eight years apart--that are separated by over a century.   Astronomy author and illustrator Jay Ryan described the circumstances that create periodic transits, reprinted here with his permission.

Cover of Paul Dean's article The 2012 Transit of Venushttp://www.astrosociety.org/tov/tov.pdf
The 2012 Transit of Venus by Paul Deans is an 8-page reprint from Mercury magazine, Summer 2011.

Exercise from Using Transits to Find Exoplanets from University of Torontohttp://universe.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/12feb17_tdsb_eureka_transit_worksheet_v1.pdf
Using Transits to Find Exoplanets, from University of Toronto, gives diagrams and examples from which students derive answers and plot graphs about exoplanets.

Smithsonian Institution Libraries Logohttp://www.sil.si.edu/exhibitions/chasing-venus/teachers/
Chasing Venus Teacher Resources from Smithsonian Institution Libraries includes "exercises and lesson plans designed to accompany and enrich the study and discussion of the June 2004 Transit of Venus."  Eighteen activities engage grades K-12 in multiple subject areas: 
  • Two Views of the Universe (K-6; Science and Geography) Students build two views (Aristotle's and Copernicus') of the universe and describe the differences.
  • Collage of Geometric Shapes (K-5; Mathematics, Art) Students identify different geometric shapes and usefull link lowest levitra price use the differences in the building of collages.
  • Shadow Games (K-5; Science, Measurement) Students discover how light source, object, and distance affect the shadow's shape.
  • Silhouette Outlines (4-6; Science, Measurement, Art) Students document how light source, object, and distance affect the shadow's shape by making silhouettes.
  • Paper Plate Observation (4-6; Science, Measurement) Students simulate the documentation of the Transit using paper plates and marking the path of the transit.
  • Expedition Stories from the Transit of Venus (6-12; Science, Creative Writing, History, Geography) Students write and role play stories based on the Transit of Venus expeditions.
  • Collecting and Using Data on the Common Events (4-12; Science, Mathematics) Students create data tables, collect the data and observe patterns.
  • Investigating Longitude and Latitude (4-6; Science, Measurement, Geography) Students use longitude and latitude to determine locations of expedition sites and viewing sites for the 2004 Transit.
  • Cardboard Tube Telescope (4-6; Science, Astronomy) Students build telescopes from cardboard tubes that can be used to safely watch the Transit.
  • Vocabulary Enrichment (7-9; English, Spelling) Students learn the meaning and the best choice woman and cialis spelling of various terms associated with the Transit and use the terms in sentences.
  • Using Means, Medians and Modes (4-9; Mathematics, Statistics) Students calculate means, medians and modes for a series of observations and report conclusions.
  • Using Triangulation (6-12; Mathematics, measurement) Students use triangulation techniques to determine measurements.
  • Measurement Conversion (3-8; Measurement) Students identify common and uncommon measurements and build conversion tables.
  • Expedition Diaries (7-9; History, Creative writing) Students choose an expedition to research, form expedition teams, keep individual diaries and compare diaries at the end of simulated expedition.
  • On the Shoulders of Giants (10-12; Science, history) Students research the important astronomers and wow)) free cialis scientists and make presentations on their achievements.
  • Putting the Transits in Context (10-12; Science, history) Students research the important events that were taking place during the major expeditions and make presentations on how they may have influenced the expeditionary teams.
  • The Transit in Pictures (10-12; Science, art and media) Students write screenplay and produce movie or animation of a transit including narration.
  • And now a word from our sponsor... (10-12; Science, art and media) Students write and produce public service commercials promoting the Transit of Venus and providing information about its safe viewing.

Venus Transit bannerhttp://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/sunearthday/2004/index_vthome.htm
Don't miss this extensive collection of resources from the fun folks at NASA's then-named Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum.

Featured activities:

  • Magnetic Reversals http://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/venus/Reversal.html
    Fact and Fiction-Students compare two science fiction stories and we like it cialis australia a scientific appraisal about what might happen when the next magnetic reversal happens. They critically evaluate fictional claims to identify factual errors.
  • Magnetic Variations http://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/venus/MagRev.html
    Students use tabulated data to create a graph of Earth's magnetic intensity. They forecast when, or if, our current field will actually fall to zero-strength in the future.
  • Timing the Transit of Venus http://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/venus/Vtime.html
    Students perform basic time calculation exercises based on actual historic transit timing data. Topics covered include elapsed time, time differences and time conversion.
  • When Do Transits of Venus Happen? http://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/venus/Vyears.html
    Students complete a table of values and predict the dates for a transit of Venus visible from the Earth based on rates and patterns.
  • Timeline http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/sunearthday/2004/vt_edu2004_venus_68.htm
    Use the resources on the Timeline to discover the story of why the transit of Venus was an important astronomical event.
  • Calculate AU to Kilometers http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/sunearthday/2004/2004images/VT_Activity3.pdf
    Before the critical measurements of the Transit of Venus in the late 1800s, distances in the solar system were expressed in Astronomical Units (AU).  But nobody knew what an AU equaled in miles or kilometers.  The AU was simply the distance from Earth to the Sun.  So astronomers needed to calculate the AU in kilometers!  To do this calculation fo r yourself follow the activity provided.

  • Detecting Planet Transits http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/sunearthday/2004/2004images/HabitablePlanets.pdf (24K)
    Students model NASA's Kepler mission observations of planetary transits (a planet moving in front of a star) by standing in a circle with model star (light bulb) in the center, and observing, through rolled up paper viewing tubes, a marble planet orbiting the star.

  • Habitable Planets
    This activity encourages a discussion about what makes a planet habitable. Students learn that for a planet to support life like we find on Earth, it must have: (a) the right temperature range for there to be liquid water, and (b) the right size range to be able to have suitable atmosphere.

  • Finding the Distance to the Sun http://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/venus/Vdistance.html
    The students will apply the concepts of vertical angles and ratios to calculate lengths and angles.  Can they determine the distance to the Sun?
Project CLEA lab exercise measures A.U. from 2004 datahttp://www3.gettysburg.edu/~marschal/clea/Transitlab.html
Project CLEA lab exercise enables students to observe images from the 2004 transit of Venus and use measurements of those images of the sun from three terrestrial sites to determine the distance to the sun in kilometers.  Software, student manual, and full dataset are available free of charge.

Australian transit of Venus resources from the perspective of surveyors Down Under. 

The European Southern Observatory led an extensive program in 2004 that was loaded with information--a thorough website for transit of Venus observers, educators, and enthusiasts.
A global observing program in which participants contribute data to determine the distance from the sun to earth; from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE). Modeling the Transit of Venushttp://www.oocities.org/hazarry/astronomy/Modelling_and_the_transit_of_Venus.pdf
Modeling and the Transit of Venus, by David Quinn and Ron Berry, University of Queensland.  In this math activity, students "combine the elements we have calculated and generic cialis next day generate a model of Venus’ orbit that will allow us to identify when an alignment will occur, and whether that alignment will result in a transit."

The Systemic Weblog, written by Greg Laughlin, reports recent developments in the field of extrasolar planets, with a particular focus on observational and theoretical astronomical research work.  Tutorials show how to use the Systemic Console, an advanced program that "uses an intuitive graphical interface to analyze data in order to detect and characterize planets."

Transit of Venus a Stroke of Luck for Teachers, by Arkan Simaan; School Science Review, March 2004, 85(312), pp. 95-100.  "This article describes briefly the significance of this phenomenon and its historic and scientific importance. It then proposes a few ideas for educational activities, some of which are of interdisciplinary and international interest."

Helioseismology graphichttp://www.noao.edu/education/ighelio/solar_music.html
Solar Music - Helioseismology,"encourages students to realize you can learn about an object by listening to it. Astronomers listen to the Sun's heartbeat to learn about the inside of the Sun." From National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO), 1999.

Lesson plan describes how to measure the Astronomical Unit using the Voyager II software; (PDF file).

The Singing Sun is a recording of acoustical pressure waves in the Sun made by carefully tracking movements on the Sun's surface with the SOHO spacecraft.

"How to measure the Earth-Sun distance by studying the transit of Venus;" from the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE).

NASA Connect offers lessons and exercises on scaling the solar system.

"The transit of Venus, 8 June 2004: a teachers’ guide to finding the Earth–Sun distance;" by Robin Catchpole for the journal Physics Education, May 2004, pp. 252-266.

User- adjustable Applets about the transit of Venus; by Jürgen Giesen; (available in English and German).. http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/
Planet Quest offers much material about the search for extra-solar planets.  Click "Four Ways to Find a Planet" on the scrolling filmstrip to view a narrated animation that shows planet detection methods, including the use of transits.

Planet Orbiting a Starhttp://www.bridgewater.edu/departments/physics/ISAW/Transit-1.html
With this simulation you try to detect exoplanets using observations of transits.  After you select a star from a simulated field of view, the simulation develops photometric graphs and cheap viagra without prescription other data, from which you calculate the orbital information.

ProjectVenus 2004 is "an observational project of amateur astronomers to determine the scale of the solar system with the aid of the Venus transit in 2004. Groups investigate the historical calculations and observations, set up new procedures, prepare the observation and carry out the evaluation."

"Observing, Photographing and Evaluating the Transit of Venus," a global observing program in which participants contribute data to determine the distance from the sun to earth.

Transit of Venus, June 8, 2004http://www.astronomy.no/venus080604.html
Teacher activities address the circumference of earth, parallax, distance to the sun, and Kepler's Laws.  Site also lists historic background, visibility times,  current research, and more.  In 2004 the organizers in Norway sought other observers for global project.

Stanford Solar Center offers "exciting activities, images, interactive tools, text, and other resources to let you research our special star -- the Sun."
Measure the universe with a string and a stone.  A series of activities allow students to measure the distance to the sun simply, with the lone assumption that Venus is the size of the Earth; from Vivek Monteiro.

Lesson plan describes how to measure the Astronomical Unit using the Voyager II software; (PDF file).

Magnetosphere buttonhttp://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/son/home/index.html
The Student Observation Network tracks solar storms and predicts the impact of solar activity, such as aurorae.

A Toyota TAPESTRY grant has created a clearinghouse for transit of Venus resources.  A DVD, data CD, audio CD, and slide set are available at cost for multiple users, including teachers, planetarians, librarians, and other educators.

Animation demonstrates parallax of stars with extended thumb example; from Dave Underwood at University of Colorado.

Introduction to Transit of Venus at Paper Plate Education.

Horrocks.gif (10958 bytes) http://analyzer.depaul.edu/paperplate/Transit%20of%20Venus/activity.htm
Hands-on activity to record transit of Venus on a paper plate akin to the first record of Jeremiah Horrocks in 1639. Can easily be adapted for 2012 transit of Venus.

Physics Education (Volume 39, Number 3, May 2004) has several articles about the transit of Venus, including a teacher's guide by Robin Catchpole, senior astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich and a paper plate explanation of the frequency of transits.  All papers published in the journal are made freely available for 30 days from the date of online publication. See This Month's Papers[April 28, 2004]

Meet the Neighbors: Planets Around Nearby Stars is an AstroCappella lesson plan to accompany their song Dance of the Planets.  High school students investigate the dimming caused by a transit; determine a planet's radius and cheap levitra 50mg orbital distance from transit data; and compare results of the extrasolar planetary system with our solar system; ( PDF file).

Extensive bibliography of original sources relating to transits of Venus, with links to many of the original publications; from R.H. van Gent

Poster by 6-year old history/2004/216-poster-by-six-year-old
Poster by a 6-year old shows her explanation of the transit of Venus.

"Activities, based on common questions about the transit, address a range of ages, themes, and levels of individual and group work. They offer points of discussion on understanding how the transit happens, why it happens so rarely, and how scientists are using transits to search for extrasolar planets.   Included are printable documents of each activity, in both Word and PDF formats."  From Exploratorium.

Track storms on the sun for Solar Stormwatch http://solarstormwatch.com
Don't just look at the sun (with filters).  Now you can track and plot explosions on the sun to give astronauts an early warning if dangerous solar radiation is headed their way.  Conduct valuable research by joining the scientists of Solar Stormwatch.

Plot suggesting presence of planet; from Planet Hunters http://www.planethunters.org
Actually find new planets orbiting distant stars using the data from the Kepler mission.  Participants steer astronomers to candidate stars by judging the existence of patterns in a light curve.  From Planet Hunters.

Make a scale model of the Venus Transit; from the Exploratorium.

MyKepler is an educational program with a vision to involve 3,000 schools (1,000 in the USA) in the tracking and exploration of the Kepler telescope data to discover earth-like planets in the close Milky Way proximity.

Transit Tracks is an investigation in which students describe a transit and the conditions when a transit may be seen; describe how a planet’s size and distance from its star affects the behavior of transits; and interpret graphs of brightness vs time to deduce information about planet-star systems.

"Take a journey into space and find out more about the Sun and its effect on the Earth..."  From Sun|trek.


GLPA 2003

The transit of Venus was a recurring topic at the 2003 Annual Conference of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA).  Chuck Bueter and Art Klinger showed excerpts from the Transit of Venus program in the Shafran Planetarium. Gene Zajac and www.roli-guggers.de Bueter hosted a Transit of Venus (TV) Screen workshop to make rear-projection viewing devices for telescopes.  David Hurd revealed the hidden value of a familiar model to illustrate the periodicity of inferior conjunctions with his Trippensee planetarium demonstration.  Don Tuttle crafted Transit Time, his latest scientifically-accurate quilt that commemorates the transit of Venus both in function and form.  And GLPA members enjoyed viewing large sunspot groups with a Sunspotter from Learning Technologies Inc. and with Solar Shades from Rainbow Symphony.

In many discussions we addressed plans for the 2004 transit of Venus, including an exchange of artwork specifically solicited to commemorate this event.  Another outcome of those discussions was that we learned John Philip Sousa's Transit of Venus March band arrangement is available for $25.00 (plus UPS shipping) through The Detroit Concert Band, Inc. at (480) 948-9870.  You may order a reprint of each published part on 8.5 x 11-inch pages and reproduce as many copies for your own use as necessary.

We welcome more images of transit-related pictures from the astronomy enthusiasts at the GLPA 2003 Annual Conference.

Transit of Venus Program

Doppelmayer illustrationChuck Bueter gave a description of the Transit of Venus program prior to his and Art Klinger's showing videotape excerpts from the forthcoming Transit of Venus.  The program debuted October 23, 2003 at the Shafran Planetarium in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History during the 2003 Annual Conference of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA).  It will be shipped to all GLPA members in November 2003.

Trippensee Planetarium Demonstration

glpa03-hurd&halley.jpg (108951 bytes) David Hurd points out Edmond Halley sighting (below).

glpa03-halley2.jpg (30569 bytes) glpa03-halley1.jpg (29540 bytes) Edmond Halley predicts a forthcoming transit with the aid of a Trippensee planetarium; images courtesy of David Hurd.

glpa-01768hurd.jpg (27235 bytes) David Hurd reveals that Venus orbits 13 times to earth's 8 orbits.  His demonstration with a Trippensee planetarium illustrates why 8 years pass between consecutive inferior conjunctions of earth and the inner planetarium model, shown to be planet Venus.

Transit of Venus (TV) Screen Workshop

glpa03-dsc01795spaceman.jpg (30216 bytes) Chuck Bueter (left) and astrobusnaut Gene Zajac presented a workshop on constructing rear- projecting Transit of Venus (TV) Screens.

workshop090.jpg (48243 bytes)

dsc01519.jpg (30201 bytes) Gene Zajac and Chuck Bueter distributed a handout related to a make-it-and-take-it workshop during the 2003 Annual Conference of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA).

dsc01466.jpg (22413 bytes) dsc01479.jpg (38508 bytes) Preparing for the make-it-and-take-it workshop, Zajac and Bueter evaluate inexpensive materials for the solar-viewing device.  The toilet plunger was only a limited success.

dsc01474.jpg (45107 bytes) dsc01483.jpg (46639 bytes) dsc01514.jpg (21189 bytes) dsc01509.jpg (26970 bytes) Outdoor trials (far left) help to refine the final products, which feature an oil funnel and a plastic bucket.

DonTuttle's Transit Time Quilt Debuts

quilt.jpg (54703 bytes) quiltGLPA.JPG (97561 bytes)Don Tuttle created Transit Time, a functional quilt that commemorates the 2004 transit of Venus.  Don generously sent it to be exhibited even though he himself was unable to attend the 2003 GLPA conference.  Individuals and institutions may borrow Don's handiwork to dovetail with transit of Venus programming.  Contact Chuck Bueter for availability and to schedule its use and display.  (Image on right courtesy of Marc Rouleau.)

Viewing Sunspot Groups

A Sunspotter (courtesy of Learning Technologies Inc.) and Solar Shades (courtesy of Rainbow Symphony) allowed all GLPA members to watch safely the giant sunspot groups that emerged during the conference; image courtesy of LTI.

glpa03-01781button.jpg (48621 bytes) Susan Button observes large sunspots through a hydrogen alpha-filtered telescope.

glpa03-dsc01785sunspots.jpg (18099 bytes) Two large sunspot groups glide across the face of the sun during the 2003 GLPA Annual Conference.


Activity: Pixel Count

Plot the amount of light detected by a spacecraft as it observes a planet transiting a star.

Pixelated star with approaching pixelated planet

Background: There are several ways to find new planets.  First, scientists can sometimes measure the wobble of the parent star caused by the gravity of the hidden offspring planet.  Second, they can detect a Doppler shifting of the star's light spectrum as the orbiting planet repeatedly moves toward us, then away.  Third, they can look for dips in brightness that reveal planets blocking out a little light as the planets orbit the star within our plane.

Kepler spacecraft illustrationThe Kepler spacecraft is monitoring over 150,000 stars simultaneously as it looks for planets around distant stars. For comparison, imagine looking down from a skyscraper at 150,000 streetlights that are miles away and you hope to see some gnats flying in front of a few lights. If the insect passes in front of the streetlight along your line of sight, the amount of light you see will dip by a minute amount.  It may be too little for your eyes to notice, but the spacecraft is capable of discerning such small dips in brightness.

In this activity, the light from a star covers several pixels on a simulated computer chip.  From afar, the star would appear as a mere point of light, but the closer you get the more you can see and count distinct pixels.  For simplicity, students will count the number of pixels that reach the sensor for the duration of a transit.  A recurring, periodic dip in brightness suggests a planet is orbiting the host star, whereas a random dip in brightness may indicate any object, such as a nearby asteroid in our own solar system, is intersecting the light path between the star and the spacecraft. 

Planet transiting pixelated star from t=0 to t=14.Light curve of Kepler 22b planet going around sun-like starTo Do:  Print or display the 15 snapshots, left, of a transit.  On graph paper, plot the numbers of yellow squares (y-axis) per unit of time (x-axis).  You may want to begin with multiple t=0 pixel counts to show the normal state of the scene with no transit, from which the curve can begin.  The units of time are not defined for this activity, but a transit may last for several hours. Compare the graph derived by the students with actual data from a transit, right.  To speed up the activity in a class, assign each kid the t=0 time frame just to make sure they are all on the same track.  Then have the kids choose a partner to count the lone second snapshot you designate for them. 

Read more: Activity: Pixel Count