June 5th 2012 Transit of Venus
2012 Transit of Venus Path across the Sun. First Contact 5:04pm CDT.  Sun sets at mid-transit.

Please Register 
for our Transit of Venus events located at Big Foot Beach State Park and Yerkes Observatory.  We are expecting many people and it will be helpful for us to know if you are coming! 

The Transit of Venus is a solar system show starring Venus and the Sun on the evening of June 5th.  It won't happen again until the year 2117!  The planet Venus can be seen crossing the disk of the Sun as a tiny black dot in eclipse shades made especially for observing the sun.  But if you want a magnified view, be sure to find a location where solar scopes are set up and ready for you! 

Friends of Big Foot Beach State Park
and Yerkes Observatory will host observing events so you can safely see Venus cross the disk of the Sun on June 5th.  Observing and activities will occur between 4 pm and 8:30 pm.  Each site will feature projected images of the Sun, telescopic views through special solar telescope filters, and the opportunity to purchase eclipse glasses ($2).   

Why is the transit so special?  Historically, astronomers in the 18th century used a transit of Venus to figure out the distance from the Earth to the Sun. This unit, called the astronomical unit (AU) was essential to deriving distances to planets and stars, and giving us a sense of our place in the Cosmos.   Today and in the future, transits are important to our discovery of exoplanets residing in habitable zones around other stars... helping us to answer the age old question: Are we alone in the Universe?

As long as you can see the Sun anytime between 5pm and sunset from your location and you are prepared to view the sun safely, you will be able to see the transit for yourself.  Or, you can bring up live webcasts via the Internet in case the weather is cloudy or you don't have a solar view.  

There are safe ways to view this solar event, especially by projecting a magnified image of the sun. Please see the following websites for more details.

Websites to visit: 

If you would like help organizing an event at your site please contact us at Yerkes Observatory, 262-245-5555.  These events are being organized through Friends of Big Foot Beach State Park, Williams Bay Park and Recreation Department, and NASA's SOFIA outreach at Yerkes Observatory.  

Big Foot Beach State Park Yerkes Observatory