Thursday, June 7, 2012

Venus in Transit

Did you guys get a chance to see Venus cross in front of the sun on Tuesday?
No?  Awww...too bad.  You're going to have to wait another 105 years to catch it again.
We were able to see it live, in person at Washburn.  It was soo cool.  The Physics and Astronomy department had an open house with a couple of serious telescopes out tracking Venus' path. 

Venus's journey across the sun is beginning at about 3:00 on the big white circle.

Our friend, R, got to join us as well.

Not a bad crowd.  This is the most I've ever seen at an open house event at the observatory.
 Dr. Brian Thomas, associate Physics Professor at Washburn, handed out official NASA certificates for the kids, or anyone, really, who witnessed the once in a lifetime event.
(And it took everything I have in me not to make a Dr. Sheldon Cooper reference.  Bazinga!)

 Lydia thought she was big stuff here, signing her name to an official NASA certificate.

Dr. Thomas was great with the youngsters.  Wish he was around when I took physics.  Perhaps I would have fared a little better...

 This telescope had a special filter on it so that you could look directly at the sun and Venus.
So.  Cool.

 Professors Steve Black and Dr. Karen Camarda manned this telescope that projected the view onto a cork board so that the littles could easily see the event.  Isn't that incredible?  That professors who are used to working with adults took the time to think about the children in the community and made it so they, too, could experience it?  What a gem we have here in Topeka.  Makes me even more proud to an Ichabod.

See the large white circle?  That's the sun.  Now see the circle at the 1:00 position?  That's Venus!

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