A Unique Opportunity for Amateur Astronomers!
The Venus Transit on Tuesday, June 8, 2004 presents a unique opportunity for amateur astronomers: Weather permitting you will beable to
- observe a celestial event which no human being living on Earth today has ever witnessed
- follow in the footsteps of professional astronomers of past centuries who attempted to determine the absolute scale of the Universe
- test your observational skills and provide observation data for a unique experiment
- help your fellow citizens to become aware of and safely observe this extremely rare event.
The VT-2004 website will help you to enjoy this event even more, by providing you with information and possibilities for active participation (note that some pages may not yet be available – we expect that most will be in place by the end of February).
- You will find a wealth of information on all aspects of the transit in the Extended InfoSheets , from details on how to calculate the Astronomical Unit accurately from your observations to a discussion on the detectability of extrasolar planets transiting in front of their stars.
- You will find useful information to help you to prepare and perform your own observations
- You will be able to enter your contact timings in the world-wide database; they will help to calculate a value for the Astronomical Unit. To do this you will need to register .
- You will learn about basic methods of image processing (used by professional astronomers) and be able to improve your own images with the help an Internet pipe-line offering application of appropriate routines (this facility will be implemented later)
- You will find yourself discussing the details of your planned observations, the optimum tuning of your equipment and the mysteries of the Black Drop with fellow amateurs from all over the world in the Online Forum
- You will find a lot of useful material that you can use in your local “public relations” activities. In particular, the Brief InfoSheets probably contain answers to all questions the general public will ask you.
- If you are a member of an Astronomy Club or Amateur Association which plans public activities on the occasion of the transit, has your group already joined the VT-2004 Network ?
Finally, on the day of the Venus Transit, you will be able to follow on the the web live observations of the event, as recorded with large professional and smaller amateur telescopes . A selection of real-time images will be available via the central VT-2004 display page .
Whatever you choose to do, we wish you much fun and not least, clear skies at the time of Venus Transit on June 8, 2004!