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Fwd: Venus Transit 2004: Be Ready for a Once-In-A-Lifetime Chance!

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  • Frits Westra
    ... From: esonews@eso.org Subject: Venus Transit 2004: Be Ready for a Once-In-A-Lifetime Chance! Date: Mon, 07 Jun 2004 16:38:01 +0200 Dear subscribers,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 7, 2004
      ------- Forwarded message -------
      From: esonews@...
      Subject: Venus Transit 2004: Be Ready for a Once-In-A-Lifetime Chance!
      Date: Mon, 07 Jun 2004 16:38:01 +0200

      Dear subscribers,

      Tomorrow, on June 8, beginning shortly after 5 hrs UT, a large part of the
      world will be sharing a unique sight never seen by any person now living.
      During a little more than six hours, planet Venus will cross the face of
      the Sun, offering a wonderful show for everybody to admire. Nobody should
      miss the opportunity to witness this great event! And - good luck! - it
      appears that the observing condition prospects are rather favourable in
      large areas of the world.

      Nevertheless, should you be as unlucky as astronomer Le Gentil in 1769
      who, having traversed a large portion of the globe, enduring all the
      perils of a long sea-voyage, and waiting for 8 years for the transit to
      occur, was unable to observe it because of a vexatious, black cloud that
      covered the Sun, you need not despair. There will be ample opportunity to
      witness this event from the VT-2004 Central Display page (and other

      This page, powered by Akamai and therefore mirrored on many hundreds of
      sites all over the world, will offer selected images from the event,
      acquired by our colleagues at the large solar telescopes, from the Canary
      Island to China. All images will be chosen and commented live by a team of
      professional astronomers in the "VT-2004 Control Room" at the ESO
      headquarters (Garching, Germany), who will guide you through the various
      phases of this memorable event and provide a running commentary, beginning
      before dawn (in Central Europe) on the Day of the Transit and only ending
      when Venus is well beyond the solar disc.

      At the same time, you will be able to follow the progress of the
      absolutely unique VT-2004 Observing Campaign set up by this programme.
      More than 1700 groups of observers (school classes, amateur astronomers
      and individuals) have already registered and will be providing timings of
      the "contacts" of Venus' black circle with the Solar disc. This allows the
      VT-2004 computers to reenact live the measurement of the distance from the
      Earth to the Sun (the "Astronomical Unit"), as this was done by
      astronomers in the past

      On the VT-2004 Central Display web site, you will also find what is
      without doubt the most exhaustive list of links to other websites where
      photos and webcasts of the Venus Transit are expected to appear in
      (near-)real-time (weather permitting). Better than all the channels on
      your satellite TV!

      And during the less dramatic moments, you will be able to browse through
      the wonderful photos or the collection of drawings related to the Venus
      Transit at the VT-2004 website. In the Photo Archive, you can see many
      beautiful images captured by amateurs and professionals of the varying
      phases of planet Venus as well as of the Sun. You will discover very rare,
      recent images of Venus looking almost like a circle, a sight very
      difficult to achieve since it is only visible when Venus is extremely
      close to the Sun in the sky. In the Gallery, you will find a wealth of
      fine drawings by young people from all over Europe, reflecting their
      impressions on how the Venus Transit will look for them.

      All in all, the VT-2004 website at http://www.vt-2004.org, is an extremely
      comprehensive, very complete source of live information on the Venus
      Transit, obtained in a vast collaboration of many people all over the
      Earth. If nevertheless, you still do not find some information here, feel
      free to ask a question to the organizers by sending an email to
      vt-2004@... or by posting it on the VT-2004 Forum.

      The full text of VT-2004 Press Communication 06 (June 7, 2004), with one
      photo and all weblinks, is available at:

      Kind regards,

      The ESO EPR Dept.

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