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Programmer: Bill Kramer
Last update: April 17 2015

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Transit of Venus 2012

To experience something once in a lifetime is a phrase used by many but rarely true. That was not the case in June of 2012 as Venus transited the solar disk. For those that missed the 2004 transit this was the last chance because the next time this will happen is another 105 years in to the future. Transits of Venus are rare. They happen in eight-year pairs separated by over a century. No transits of Venus took place during the 20th century.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

-Bill Kramer
During the Solar Eclipse cruise of the Paul Gauguin in 2010 a question was asked about other astronomical events coming up in the next few years. The Paul Gauguin is a luxury cruise ship that operates primarily in the South Pacific. It plies the waters that were once sailed by the famed Captain Cook from whom the Cook Islands are named. Captain Cook sailed to Tahiti in 1768 to view a Transit of Venus (the transit was viewed in 1769). In 2012, the Transit of Venus would be visible from the South Pacific and it was determined that merging of a Polynesian cruise with a Transit of Venus theme would be of interest. In June of 2012 a one week cruise was planned with observations of the Transit of Venus to take place on the island of Bora Bora.

For many people, going to Bora Bora is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Add the last Transit of Venus for the century and you have a truly once in a lifetime experience. Denise and I served as the on board experts (we’d seen the 2004 Transit of Venus from a ship). We set up a battery of telescopes on the pier where the ship’s tenders docked. The telescopes were open to all cruise passengers and anyone who wandered by. While we did not keep count, we showed the Transit of Venus to several hundred people. The telescope battery consisted of a 40mm Coronado Hydrogen-Alpha, an Orion 10” reflector with solar filter, and an Orion 12” set up for projection on to a large white surface inside a box lid. Everyone enjoyed the views of sunspots and solar flares along with the shadow of Venus to the sounds of Tahitian music and fantastic hosting of the Paul Gauguin.

Article that appeared in the London Telegraph by Julian Evans.

Links to external websites

SAROS group report
Alex Conu - Romania
YouTube video of Bora Bora Venus Transit
Xavier Jupier from Mauna Loa Solar Observatory
Joe Cali - Australia
BBC report on transit
Jay Pasachoff presentation about Transits
Variety of images compiled by Nico from Gouda, the Netherlands
Images by Sab Bilsel
Tora Greve in Narvik - Riksgränsen - Björkliden
Philippe Jacquot, France, Sisteron on the top of the Lure\'s mountain
Thank You Jeremiah Horrocks - Time lapse video of Transit
Report from Oscar Martín, Pablo Gonzalez Peña
Julian Evans blog entry

List presented in random order



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