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Last generation of school children in 100 years to view transit of Venus on Whitby cliff tops

5 June 12


As the Sun rises over the Whitby coastline tomorrow morning, researchers from the University of Bradford will be waiting on the West Coast next to the Captain Cook Memorial Statute with local children, giving them the last chance to see this rare event, which will not happen again until 2117.

BRT and Transit of Venus

 

The Bradford Robotic Telescope (BRT) team has organised the observation event to coincide work at the Captain Cook Memorial Museum in Whitby over the bank holiday weekend to celebrating one of our nation's most famous explorer’s links to the Transit event. In 1796 he led an international programme to measure the distance to the Sun by observing the transit from Tahiti in the Pacific.

The transit of Venus occurs where the orbital path of the planet of Venus crosses the line of sight from the earth to the sun, casting a shadow in relief. The event will be observable between 4.30 and 6.00am on the morning of Wednesday 6 June, with weather for the observers predicted to be clear. The BRT team will provide a projection of the event onto a screen, with members of the Whitby Amateur Astronomical society attending with additional telescopic equipment.

Dr John Baruch, project lead on the Bradford Robotic Telescope said: "As a member of the Royal Astronomical Society Education Committee I think it is vital we take every opportunity to share the wonders of science and astronomy with children from an early age. Tomorrow is a very special day. It’s amazing to think that some of the local children who see the transit of Venus at dawn tomorrow may tell the story to their own grandchildren, who will be the next generation able to view this rare cosmic event."

Sophie Forgan, Chairman of Trustees of the Captain Cook Memorial Museum said: "The Captain Cook Museum is delighted to work with the University of Bradford and the Whitby Astronomical Society to observe the Transit of Venus.  It is such an important astronomical event, but also historical, because the voyage to observe the Transit in 1796 kick-started Cook’s great explorations of the Pacific."

For further information on the Transit of Venus event visit :- http://www.transit.telescope.org/

5 June 12

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