Albion to Host Venus Transit Viewing June 5

The Venus transit is a rare alignment when the planet passes directly between the Earth and sun.

Albion College physics professor Nicolle Zellner and Aly Ganem, ’14, a physics major who is participating in the College's Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity this summer, will serve as the hosts of a Venus Transit viewing event June 5 on the roof of Palenske Hall. Zellner said the Palenske roof will open at 5:15 p.m. with the transit visible from about 6 p.m. until sunset.

The next alignment will take place in 2117.

"We will not be able to see the entire transit, but if you'll be able to tell Venus has moved if you watch for 15-20 minutes," Zellner said.

She added, "The Venus transit is probably more of a public event than a scientific endeavor, though the Europeans sent astronomers out during the transits of the 1700s and 1800s to determine the Earth’s distance from the sun."

Zellner said special filters will be placed on the telescopes and eclipse glasses will be provided for visitors to safely observe the event.

The viewing is free and open to the public. Palenske Hall is located at the corner of East Michigan Avenue and Hannah Street. The telescope will not be open in the case of rain, and viewing will be limited in case of clouds. Call the College's Campus Safety Office, 517/629-0213, to confirm whether the telescope will be open.