Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tue. Evening--Safe Public Viewing of Rare Transit of Venus at Mt. Lebanon Library

                NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: 2012 June 3
For More Information: Glenn A. Walsh  < >,
                                         < >, or 412-561-7876. 

Tue. Evening--Safe Public Viewing of Rare Transit of Venus at Mt. Lebanon Library

Early Tuesday evening, June 5, people in North America will have the chance to witness a very rare astronomical event: the Transit of the Planet Venus moving directly in front of the Sun!

A solar transit of a planet occurs when the planet can be seen (using safe solar viewing techniques only!) in the daytime as it moves in front of, and across, the image of the surface of the Sun. Only Mercury and Venus, the two planets closer to the Sun, can be seen in such a Transit. Transits of Mercury are also somewhat rare and more difficult to view, due to Mercury's small size.

This is an event which occurs in pairs spaced eight years apart, with each pair occurring less than once a century! The current pair occurred in 2004 and will occur again on Tuesday evening. The previous pair occurred in 1874 and 1882, while the next pair will occur in the years 2117 and 2125.

Transit of Venus -- Frequently Asked Questions:
                    < >

Safe telescopic viewing, for the general public, of the Tuesday evening event will be offered, free-of-charge, in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh at the upper parking lot of the Mount Lebanon Public Library, 16 Castle Shannon Boulevard near Washington Road, at the southern end of Mount Lebanon's Uptown--Washington Road business district. The Library is located three blocks south of the Port Authority's Mount Lebanon 'T" Light Rail Transit Station. Free-of-charge public parking is available at the Library.

Although the entire Transit event takes nearly seven hours, we will only be able to see the first two and one-half hours before sunset. The view in Western Pennsylvania will begin at 6:04:01 p.m. and will continue until we lose the Sun, around 8:30 p.m. The best viewing will probably be from about 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. EDT. Telescope viewing of the Transit will occur so long as clouds do not completely obscure the Sun.

A web-cast of the event can also be viewed in the Library, in case of inclement weather and after we lose the Sun in the telescope around 8:30 p.m. The web-cast will end when the Library closes at 9:00 p.m.

Observing the Sun, Solar Eclipse, or Solar Transit of a Planet using a telescope, binoculars, or any other type of optical device should never be attempted unless you have received the proper training and possess the required equipment to do so safely! Otherwise, this would cause PERMANENT BLINDNESS INSTANTLY ! Telescopic observing of the Transit of Venus at the Mount Lebanon Public Library will be supervised by former Buhl Planetarium Astronomical Observatory Coordinator and Planetarium Lecturer Glenn A. Walsh.

For further information: < >,
< >, or 412-561-7876.

This event is being co-sponsored by Friends of the Zeiss and the Mount Lebanon Public Library. Friends of the Zeiss provided the only public, telescopic viewing of the 2004 June 8 Transit of Venus in the City of Pittsburgh, from the Mount Washington observation deck of The Duquesne Incline.

Friends of the Zeiss is a ten-year-old non-profit organization with the mission to promote the history and preservation of the historic equipment, artifacts, and building of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, including the Zeiss II Planetarium Projector (prior to 2002 dismantling, oldest operable major planetarium projector in the world !) and the 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope. More information: < >, >, or 412-561-7876.

June 5 - Safe Public Viewing of Rare Astronomical Event:


Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < >
Electronic Mail - < >
  < >
Twitter: < >
Facebook: < >
Blog: < >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < >
* Public Transit:
  < >

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