Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

NASA Astrophysicist Sten Odenwald to Discuss Transit of Venus
by Rob Gutro for Goddard Space Flight Center
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 27, 2012

During the 1761 transit, observers noticed a fuzzy halo of light surrounding the dark spot of Venus, visible only when Venus was at the sun's edge.

The public is invited to a free lecture being held at the Library of Congress, about the rare Venus transit event.

On June 5, 2012, the planet Venus will move across the face of the sun. Such transits of Venus are among the rarest of planetary alignments, and they come in pairs that are eight years apart but separated by more than a century. "Only six such events have occurred since the invention of the telescope," said NASA astrophysicist Sten Odenwald, at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Odenwald will discuss "A Rare Astronomical Event: Transit of Venus" at 11:30 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 8, in the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed.

The illustrated lecture, the third in a series of programs in 2012, is presented through a collaboration between the Library's Science, Technology and Business Division and NASA Goddard. The collaboration is in its sixth year.

According to Odenwald, transits of Venus inspire public fascination and scientific activity. Historically, this rare alignment is how scientists have measured the size of our solar system, specifically the distance between the Earth and the sun, which is now identified as the "astronomical unit."

During the 1761 transit, observers noticed a fuzzy halo of light surrounding the dark spot of Venus, visible only when Venus was at the sun's edge. Scientists of the time concluded that Venus must have an atmosphere, and later scientists confirmed that it does: a dense atmosphere of mainly carbon dioxide with clouds of sulfuric acid.

Odenwald is an astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and senior scientist with ADNET Systems, Inc. He received his doctoral degree from Harvard University in 1982, and has been involved with investigations of star formation, galaxy evolution and the nature of the cosmic infrared background. He is a book author and writes articles for magazines.

Odenwald participates in many NASA programs in space science and math education and has appeared on National Geographic TV specials. He is currently chronicling the historical impact on humans of space weather such as solar storms.


Related Links
Venus Transit at NASA
Venus Express News and Venusian Science

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Venus Invades the Pleiades
Huntsville AL (SPX) Apr 12, 2012
This week the second planet from the sun will pass directly in front of the Pleiades star cluster. It's a rare sunset conjunction that's easy to find with the unaided eye, but best seen through binoculars or a small telescope. The action begins on Monday evening, April 2nd, when Venus enters the outskirts of the little dipper-shaped asterism. Look west at sunset for Venus--it's the brighte ... read more

Moon Express Delivers Lunar Mission Design Report for mining the Moon for precious resources

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Brings 'Earthrise' to Everyone

Winners of 19th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race Announced

Russian Space Agency eyes Moon explorations

Martian Volcanic Glass Could Be Hotspot for Life

Mars Express explores the roots of Martian volcanoes

Lava flows carved Mars valleys: study

Mars Astronauts Could Risk DNA Damage

Space -- the next frontier for Hillary Clinton?

Company to Create 'Gas Stations' in Space

Boeing, NASA Sign Agreement on Mission Support for CST-100

Parachutes for NASA crew capsule tested

China's Lunar Docking

Shenzhou-9 may take female astronaut to space

China to launch 100 satellites during 2011-15

Three for Tiangong

Three astronauts to land from ISS Friday

Expedition 30 Crew Returning Home Friday

Russia brings three spacemen safely back to Earth

Three astronauts land on Earth from ISS in Russian capsule

Indian rocket being fuelled for Risat-1 launch

Assembly begins for the third Ariane 5 to be launched in 2012

ILS Proton Successfully Launches Y1B Satellite For Yahsat

SpaceX aims for May 7 launch to ISS

Three Earthlike planets identified by Cornell astronomers

Some Stars Capture Rogue Planets

ALMA Reveals Workings of Nearby Planetary System

UF-led team uses new observatory to characterize low-mass planets orbiting nearby star

I like to break things

Beyond stain-resistant: New fabric coating actively shrugs off gunk

Scientists Predict Paradoxical Laser Effect

Japan, Kazakhstan to jointly develop rare earths: report

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement