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Transit Writings

Papers, articles, posters, and blog posts about the Transit of Venus.  

See also my website


Paper: GLPA 2012- A Community Celebrates the Transit of Venus

Abstract: Astronomy educators and enthusiasts near the Michigan-Indiana border embraced the 2012 Transit of Venus as a community celebration. Among the diverse components were a planetarium program, a treasure hunt, a lecture series, a symphony performance, a newsletter, a motor coach tour, original videos, art exhibits, historical displays, public outreach events, Sun Funnel workshops, social media initiatives, related products by small businesses, multiple observing opportunities, and a time capsule.  This talk parallels the interactive prezi Transit of Venus Across the Sun at


Poster: GLPA 2012: Transit of Venus Time Keg

Abstract: In past centuries,  observers of transits of Venus have written messages for future witnesses of the celestial phenomenon.  During and after the 2012 transit of Venus, spectators reflected on and shared their experience for their 22nd century counterparts.  The written personal records and other transit of Venus artifacts from 2004 and 2012 will be sealed in the Transit of Venus Time Keg, a stainless steel time capsule made from a beer keg.  Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) members can contribute their messages at the GLPA 2012 Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, PA, where the Transit of Venus Time Keg will be sealed, bringing closure, literally, to this popular and historically significant solar system alignment.  A commemorative plaque celebrates nature's celestial spectacles, and invites people to open the Time Keg after 100 years as the 2117 and 2125 transits of Venus approach.


Article: Going All Out For Venus

Article in the March 2012 issue of Planetarian, Journal of the International Planetarium Society, summarizes transit of Venus history, outlines related education outreach, and includes sidebars by other authors about Kepler mission and Sun-Earth Day events; written by Chuck Bueter.  Reprinted with permission of the International Planetarium Society (IPS).


Article: After the Transit-of-Venus Party is Over 

In the Spring 2012 issue of The Classroom Astronomer, proposes "history, science skills and other things using historical transits extend the transit to exoplanetary discoveries, and prepare for the more challenging but commoner, next Transit of...Mercury in 2016!" Math and science activities are relevant to the 2012 Transit of Venus, too. (


Article: Don't Miss the Transit of Venus in 2012: It's Your Last Chance Until 2117

Dedicated to the transit of Venus, this newsletter issued by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) recounts historical expeditions while looking forward to Kepler Mission findings using the transit method; The Universe in the Classroom, No. 78, Fall 2011.


Paper: Build a Sun Funnel for Group Viewing of Sunspots and the Transit of Venus

Make a simple rear-screen projection device that allows a group of people to view the sun concurrently yet safely.  Step-by-step instructions with accompanying pictures supported a workshop at the 2011 Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD.  Co-authored with Richard Tresch Fienberg and Lou Mayo.


Article: Build a Sun Funnel

This simple and inexpensive device makes it easy for many people to observe the sun simultaneously; co-authored with Rick Fienberg; Astronomy Technology Today, Volume 5, Issue 5, September-October 2011, pp. 57-61.


Paper: Enthusiasm Flowing in the GLPA Watershed

The transit of Venus is a featured topic in the 2010 Armand Spitz Lecture at the Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) 46th Annual Conference.



Podcast: The Celestial Alignment of 2012



Paper: Moved by a Rapid Transit

A summary of artwork generated in past centuries as well as the modern era that celebrates the transit of Venus.  Presented at the Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena (INSAP V) ConferenceChicago, IL; June 28, 2005.  Now available in ASP Conference Series, Volume 468, pp. 13-20, edited by Marvin Bolt and Stephen Case.



Paper: Conquering Venus in Transit

Abstract: “Venus, vidi, vici,” or something like that. Events preceding June 8th prepare for the 2004 transit of Venus. Featured snippets include an art exhibit, teacher workshops, liaisons with troops deployed overseas, musical performances, community talks, an exhibit of artifacts, two busy websites, and a planetarium program. Local events in Mishawaka, IN, embraced the transit with overnight telescope viewing, live webcasts, media coverage, solar-filtered and H-alpha telescopes, Transit of Venus Sunrise Ale, and community spirit. See for images and resources.  From Proceedings of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association 2004 Annual Conference.



Paper: After Baby Food Jars

An admonition for planetarians and astronomy educators to embrace the transit of Venus for its educational outreach opportunities.  Written before the 2004 transit of Venus, but applicable to 2012 as well.



Poster: Transit of Venus: 2004 June 8

Poster introduces the 2004 transit of Venus at the Great Lakes Planetarium Association 2002 Annual Conference. 

Conference.  (MP3 audio version)





Blog posts at Steven Van Roode's  Transit of Venus website

  • Viewing Great; Timing Difficult

  • 50 Years Ago: Fantasy & SciFi

  • Finding First Contact on the Sun

  • Chappe in Baja California

  • Moment in the Sun for Planetarians 

  • Quotes from the Past
    A collection of sentiments from past transits of Venus

  • Pattern on a Paper Plate
    Convey why transits of Venus have the odd pattern of frequency, occurring in pairs that are separated by over a century, by using a simple paper plate.

  • Full Dome Shows Underway
    Planetariums and full-dome digital theaters have transit of Venus and exoplanet shows now and in the queue.

  • Art for the Guild
    David Henckel to use his Preston Guild commission to explore and share the artist's perspective on the transit of Venus from Hoole, England, hometown of Jeremiah Horrocks

  • Set Sail on HMB Endeavour
    Replica ship holds lottery for voyage to witness transit of Venus.

  • Invitation to a Treasure: TROVE
    Join the celebration in northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan with art exhibits, historical displays, activities, music, lectures, webcasts--even Black Drop Coffee and Venusian ale.

  • Hubble Practices Moon Shot
    The Hubble Space Telescope dedicates several orbits to practicing for the June 5 transit of Venus as HST instruments target the lunar crater Hipparchus-C.

  • Transit History From Four Angles
    Four perspectives on the history of the transit of Venus launch dialogue at the 219th AAS meeting in Austin, TX.

  • Raising a Glass to 2012
    As we enter the New Year, join with sailors of previous expeditions in raising a toast.

  • Transit Station at the Centennial
    Celebrating its 100th birthday, the US exhibits the Queenstown transit station at the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876.

  • Hopes and Plans on the Rise
    Delegates at 2011 GLPA Conference reflect on 2004 and prepare for 2012 transits of Venus.

  • Sun-Earth Day 2012 Launched
    NASA launches its flagship website for transit of Venus events

  • 1882 Sidewalk Astronomy
    Poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., recounts his observation of the 1882 transit of Venus as seen through the telescope of an amateur astronomer that is set up at Boston Commons.

  • Hubble Telescope Participates
    The Hubble Space Telescope will observe the moon during the 2012 transit of Venus to measure dips in its brightness.

  • Hot Times in Tahiti
    Though they tolerable 119 degrees on the day of the transit, that pales by comparison to the temperature Hawaiian observers Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander experienced back home.

  • Stamps Honor Transit of Venus
    Postage stamps commemorate transits of Venus, with emphasis on James Cook's role.

  • Pacific Meeting on Atlantic Coast
    Transit of Venus topic keeps popping up at Astronomical Society of Pacific 2011 Annual Meeting.

  • Media Vita In Morte Sumus
    In the midst of celebrating transit of Venus, the 19th century parishioners of historic church deal with grief.

  • Savoring the Moment in a Breeze
    Astronomy educator Gene Zajac facilitates memorable moment for observer of 2004 transit of Venus.

  • The Predictive Art of Astronomy
    Serendipity uncovers illustrations and text of Johann Doppelmayer's Atlas Coelestis that anticipate the forthcoming 1761 transit of Venus.

  • Planning Sightlines to the Sun
    Watch sun's path in early July to anticipate azimuth of setting sun on June 5.; posted July 6, 2011.

  • I saw Venus in the Sun.
    Eyewitness account from diary of 1882 transit of Venus; posted June 26, 2011.

  • Celestial Celebrations
    Seeking brewer to craft a tasty Transit of Venus sunset beer; posted June 20, 2011.


More articles at my website


My blog posts at Steven Van Roode's Transit of Venus at

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