DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 42. Planetary Science for the Classroom II
Poster (Teacher Workshop), Highlighted on, Friday, September 5, 2003, 3:30-6:00pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

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[42.05] Venus Transit 2004: A Virtual Education Approach to Measuring the Cosmos

L.A. Mayo (Raytheon)

On June 8th 2004, a celestial event of immense historical scientific importance will once again occur as the silhouette of the planet Venus crosses the disk of the Sun. There have been only six occurrences of the transit of Venus since the invention of the telescope, the last five having been observed; the last one occurring in 1882. No one alive today has seen this event. Predicted by Kepler and Horrocks among others, Venus Transit provided a crucial test bed for the calculation of the Astronomical Unit and therefore was critical to our first real glimpses at the size and scale of the universe.

The NASA OSS Education Support Network and its partner organizations in space science education have undertaken to capitalize on this event to provide educational programs, products, and remote observations of the transit to students, teachers, amateur astronomers, and the public. Online transit images from remote observatories spaced in latitude will allow both formal and informal education audiences to recreate the historic calculation of the AU and thus, the size of the solar system. Information and activities on related topics including planetary comparisons, stellar parallax, and the search for extra solar planets coupled with math, geography, and history components will be developed along with a web cast from Europe, museum programs, and other special events. This paper will describe the Venus Transit education program in its entirety and show how scientists can participate.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: lmayo@pop600.gsfc.nasa.gov

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.