News

Timely view of galactic event

COSMIC: Australian Science magazine writer Dave Reneke prepares to watch the Transit of Venus on Wednesday morning.
COSMIC: Australian Science magazine writer Dave Reneke prepares to watch the Transit of Venus on Wednesday morning.

IT'S A twice-in-a-lifetime moment.

On Wednesday morning, June 6, an event that takes place only four times every two centuries will enthral the world's astronomers, as it has since the 1600s.

People all over the world will be craning their necks to get a look at one of the rarest sky events possible, the Transit of Venus - and nobody alive will ever see this again. The next one will be in 2117.

Well-known Australian astronomer and writer for Australian Science magazine Dave Reneke said Australia, New Zealand, East Asia and the western Pacific are the best locations for viewing all of the 2012 transit, which starts soon after sunrise and finishes in the afternoon.

People in the United States can watch for it on Tuesday afternoon, June 5. Most other parts of the world will see some of the transit, with the exception of West Africa and most of South America.

"A Transit of Venus is when the small disc of Venus passes in front of the sun. The event takes several hours and has only been viewed six times in recorded history," Mr Reneke said.

"The last was in 2004 and was watched by millions who used telescopes to project images of the sun's disc and the dot of Venus on to cards or electronic monitors."

Mr Reneke also said it was the reason Lieutenant James Cook came to the southern hemisphere to view the transit of 1769.

"By comparing northern observations astronomers of those times were able to calculate the distance between the sun, Earth, and Venus," he said.

"It was pretty accurate; then he went on to discover Australia."

Scientists hope the 2012 transit will give them more clues about the atmosphere of Venus, plus provide priceless data in the hunt for habitable planets in deep space using similar transit methods.

You can view the sun directly by using specially made filters. Do not use sunglasses, smoked glass, exposed film or CDs as filters.

While these objects may reduce the amount of visible sunlight they don't reduce the radiation. Eye damage could be the result.

For the east coast of Australia, Venus starts to pass across the bottom part of the sun at 8.16am with the whole event over by 2.44pm. For Adelaide it begins at 7.16am and in Perth the transit will have just started at sunrise.

Mr Reneke's website davidreneke.com has free fact sheets and other downloadable information on the history of the transit and how to watch it safely from any city in the world.

Transit facts

 Viewed six times in recorded history

 Last visit was 2004

 Next visit 2117

 2012 transit begins on the east coast of Australia at 8.16am and finishes at 2.44pm on Wednesday

 Use special equipment to watch or photograph the event

Topics:  astronomy rare



SOAP BOX: Was it greyhounds or party games that bit Baird?

GONE: NSW Premier Mike Baird announced on Thursday that it was time to hand over the reins to a new premier for the state.

Now that he's gone, restore Sydney to what it was

Walker storms into junior 'Tahs roster

RISING STAR: Former Yamba junior rugby player Cody Walker has been selected in the  Waratahs Under-20 squad.

Former Buccaneer given an opportunity with junior Waratahs

Scammers strike more often than hackers: IT specialist

SCAM ALERT: Australia Post published this fake email on its website on January, 11, 2017, warning people its a scam and not to click or past the link into your internet browser. 'Delete the email immediately'.

"Everything locks up; then a ransom note comes up."

Local Partners

Baird will be 'sorely missed'

Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis says the Clarence Valley has benefited from Mike Baird's time as Premier.


5 things to do this weekend

Lower Clarence Relay for Life Swim

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Artist program to link to gallery theme

VALUABLE STINT: Indigenous artist Karla Dickens at work in Grafton Regional Gallery's studio during her 2010 artist's residency.

Gallery encouraging indigenous artists to take up residency offer

Ed Sheeran wants Beyonce collaboration

Ed Sheeran wants to record a duet with Beyoncé.

Nicole Kidman squirms through questions on Keith

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban

'God, you guys are personal ... that’s for him to talk about'

Mark Salling's child porn court date cancelled

Mark Salling's upcoming court hearing has been cancelled

Steve Carell pulls cruel prank on fans of the office

Steve Carrell decided to pull a cruel prank on fans of The Office

Lee Lin Chin's man-crazy, beer-loving side revealed

HAVE A BEER: Lee Lin Chin her tips and quips on life.

SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin offers up satirical tips and quips.

Married at First Sight: M'boro dad to feature on reality TV

LOOKING FOR LOVE: Farmer Sean Hollands, 35, from Maryborough will feature on the upcoming new season of Married At First Sight.

A bull riding accident put everything into perspective for Sean.

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Rates safe from land value hike

DRIVING GROWTH: The Pacific Highway upgrade has been linked to improved land values.

Figures up in latest valuer-general report

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!