At the Onan Observatory we will be having a Public Star Party featuring the Transit of Venus. The Observatory will open at 4:00 pm. From Baylor Park, the transit begins with “first contact” at 5:04 pm. 5:22 pm will mark “second contact”, when the entire disk of Venus enters the Sun. The Sun will set just before 9:00 with the transit just past the midpoint. The transit will continue until about 11:49 pm local time.
What to expect: The Transit of Venus is expected to be a popular event for the public to view at Onan Observatory, which we have never experienced in our history. Please plan ahead, the traffic and parking might be congested as we are expecting more than 500 visitors for this event. Please plan to arrive early as you may need to walk a distance to get to the observatory.
From Baylor Park the transit will last for about 4 hours. This should give everyone an opportunity to view it as well as getting a picture or two. Again, try to get there early and be patient, as the lines could be long. I strongly recommend arriving before 6:00 pm to have the best chance to see the event.
Bringing your our scope? We expect dozens of MAS members and non-members will want to bring their own scopes. There is ample room near the observatory and throughout the park for you to do so. Be sure to have a proper solar filter securely attached to your scope. If you bring your scope, please do not leave it unattended or without a proper solar filter.
Viewing Safety: To observe the transit of Venus directly you must protect your eyes at all times with proper solar filters. The observatory has many telescopes with solar filters as well as scopes dedicated to solar viewing. We will also have several solar “projection” methods to view the Transit indirectly. Information on proper solar filters and projection methods can be found HERE.
What if it’s cloudy? We are still planning on having the observatory open even if it is cloudy. The transit will be broadcast online from Hawaii and we are planning on showing live video from there.
Location: If you haven’t been to Baylor Park or the Onan Observatory, we are located about 45 minutes southwest of Minneapolis, three miles north of Norwood-Young America, MN. Directions and map can be found HERE. To see live video from Onan, click here.
Handicap Parking: : There are a limited number of handicap parking spaces near the observatory. At the very least we will see that the driveway is clear for those who need it to be dropped off at the observatory door.
Questions? : If you have questions about the transit event, send us an email at Info@MnAstro.org
You can also post your questions on the MAS Discussion Forums MAS Discussion Forums or follow the latest discussions. Last minute info would also be posted on the MAS home page at www.mnastro.org
Transit path and comparison to 2004 Transit