NASA Night Sky Network clubs reach thousands during the Transit of Venus

Southern Colorado Astronomical Society delighted visitors at the Transit of Venus Event using the Our Magnetic Sun ToolKit at Lake Pueblo Reservior at the newly named Archaeoastronomy Ampitheater.
Picture credit: Alan Knight

On June 5, 2012, the Transit of Venus thrilled thousands of people as they looked through Night Sky Network astronomy club telescopes. There were over 170 events held across the country. The San Jose Astronomical Association and the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers shared scopes at the NASA Ames Exploration Center in Mountain View, CA where there were an estimated 6,000 visitors. Whether your event had large or small numbers, they were all incredible and we recognize the contribution that all clubs make to astronomy literacy.

Eric Gustafson, a member of Astronomy from the Ground Up, another one of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's great programs, reports on the St. Louis Science Center collaboration with the St. Louis Astronomical Society: 

"We were lucky here in St. Louis and had little to no clouds the entire time the transit was visible. Working with the local astronomical association we set up three sunspotters and approximately 20 telescopes with varying white light and H-alpha filters. To my surprise many of the visitors seemed to be most impressed with the view from the sunspotters. Maybe it was the ability to just stand a look at the projected view or the lack of lines, but the sunspotters were hugely successful. 

Overall we had roughly 1500 people attend the viewing. Using the Earth as peppercorn demo was very helpful relating the size of the visible sunspots to the apparent size of Venus as it transited the Sun. Something else that proved to be of interest was a pop-bottle magnetometer. With all the sunspots easily seen on Tuesday it was a useful tool to show people how they can explore the Sun-Earth connection by monitoring the Earth's magnetic field in their own homes."

Thanks for all your hard work, astro clubs!

The Night Sky Network is really helping get the word out about club events. We got over 14,500 hits to the NSN website on our article about the Transit, so be sure you keep posting your events on the NSN calendar so that people can see events on the site, on Go StarGaze and on Distant Suns. 

Send your visitors to the Night Sky Network Facebook and Twitter to keep their excitement of astronomy going on a daily basis. Feel free to copy, modify, and paste this content and add it to your newsletter: 

Join our vibrant stargazing community!

We invite you to join the NASA Night Sky Network stargazing community on Facebook and Twitter for daily sky charts and lively conversation about all things planetary. 

Find star parties and solar viewings quickly using these apps or the website!

Get Go StarGaze, the NASA Night Sky Network astronomy app that helps you find astronomy clubs and their stargazing events on the go!

You can also find astronomy events and clubs in Distant Suns, your personal guide to the cosmos!

Clear skies and happy stargazing!


The NASA Night Sky Network is managed by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in cooperation with NASA.