By Sarah Geegan
The UK and Lexington community will have a rare opportunity on Tuesday, June 5 — one that will not occur again for more than 100 years.
The Arboretum, the MacAdam Student Observatory and the Bluegrass Amateur Astronomy Club will present, "Standing in the Shadow of Venus," two events which will allow the community to both understand and observe the transit of Venus.
A solar transit involves an object in the solar system moving exactly between the sun and the observer; Venus will appear to glide slowly across the surface of the sun. Transits of Venus are especially rare, occurring at intervals of 8, 105.5, 8, 121.5, 8… years as viewed from Earth.
The most recent transit of Venus occurred in June 2004, and the next will not take place until December 2117.
The Bluegrass Amateur Astronomy Club will present an informational meeting, discussing the historical importance of past transits of Venus, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 31, in Room 155 of the UK Chemistry-Physics Building.
Parking for the meeting will be available in Parking Structure #2, accessible from Hilltop Avenue.
The public can view the transit on Tuesday, June 5, in the Arboretum, weather permitting. The sponsoring organizations will provide telescopes and instruction for observing the phenomenon. Because viewing the sun without proper equipment will result in permanent eye damage, experts will provide observers with the means to view the transit safely from the Arboretum.
The transit will begin at approximately 6:04 p.m., and will end at approximately 8:40 p.m.