A Rare Event

Crowds gather at UMKC Warko Observatory for Venus Transit viewing party

photos by Janet Rogers, University Communications

Hundreds of people lined the stairway to the roof of Royall Hall and the Warkoczewski Observatory for a special public viewing of the Venus Transit on Tuesday, June 5. There were several telescopes equipped with special solar filters trained on the Sun for the transit, one of the rarest of all predictable astronomical events. Members of the UMKC Physics and Astronomy Department and the Astronomical Society of Kansas City were on hand to answer questions.
The transit occurred when the planet Venus passed directly between the Sun and the Earth. During the transit, Venus was seen from Earth as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun. Venus transits occur in a pattern with a pair of transits eight years apart, followed alternately by spans of 121½ years and 105½ years. The previous Venus transit in this cycle occurred on June 8, 2004. After the the June 5 transit, the next transits of Venus will be in December 2117 and December 2125.

Local Media Coverage:

KCUR 89.3 FM
Celestial Happenings: Your Venus Transit Questions Answered

Daniel McIntosh, Assistant Professor of General Astronomy and Astrophysics at UMKC as well as director of the Warkoczewski Observatory, and Joseph Wright, member and past president of the Astronomical Society of Kansas City (ASKC), talk about the Venus Transit on KCUR's Central Standard. Click here to listen

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The UMKC Warkoczewski Public Observatory, located on the roof of Royall Hall, is open to the public on clear Friday evenings for views of the Moon, planets, star clusters and nebulae.

Above: Image of the Venus Transit captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.
Below: High-defintion video of the transit from NASA.