Friends of the Zeiss
Electronic Mail: < firstname.lastname@example.org >
Internet Web Site: < http://www.friendsofthezeiss.org >
For immediate release: 2004 May 20
For more information -- Glenn A. Walsh:
Daytime: E-Mail < email@example.com >
Evening: Telephone 412-561-7876
SAFE PUBLIC VIEWING OF RARE ASTRONOMICAL EVENT
AT DUQUESNE INCLINE OBSERVATION DECK
, May 20– Safe public viewing, of an early morning June 8 Transit of the Planet Venus across the image of the surface of the Sun, will be offered free-of-charge Pittsburgh
on the outdoor observation deck outside of the Upper Station of The Duquesne Incline on
’s Pittsburgh . Free-of-charge public parking for this rare Mt. Washington
astronomical event is available at The Duquesne Incline’s parking lot, located between West Carson Street and the Ohio River, just across the street from the
Incline’s Lower Station. Interested members of the public can use the Incline to reach the Upper Station’s observation deck, to witness this historic event.
Using the safe projection technique, a telescope will be used to project the image of the Solar Transit of Venus onto a portable movie screen from shortly after sunrise ()
through on the morning of Tuesday, 2004 June 8. This free-of-charge observing session, co-sponsored by Friends of the Zeiss and The Duquesne Incline, will take place
so long as clouds do not completely obscure the Sun.
A solar transit of a planet is when the planet can be seen (using safe solar viewing techniques) in the daytime as it moves across the image of the surface of the Sun. The planets
Mercury and Venus are the only planets that can be seen transiting the Sun from the Earth, as these are the only planets closer to the Sun than Earth. A solar transit of the planet
Mercury occurs from time-to-time, but is fairly rare and difficult to see due to the small size of Mercury.
A solar transit of the planet Venus is extremely rare, as it only happens twice, each spaced eight years apart during a period of more than one hundred years! Indeed, only six such
events have occurred since the 1609 invention of the astronomical telescope (1631, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, and 1882).
The last solar transit of Venus occurred on 1882 Dec. 6. The next one will occur on 2012 June 6. However, after 2012 there will not be another solar transit of Venus until 2117 Dec. 11!
NEVER look directly at the Sun, a solar eclipse, or a solar transit of a planet with a telescope or binoculars, unless you have special training and special equipment to do so safely. Otherwise, this would cause PERMANENT BLINDNESS INSTANTLY!
NEVER look directly at the Sun, a solar eclipse, or a solar transit of a planet with your unaided eye. This could cause MAJOR EYE DAMAGE and POSSIBLE BLINDNESS! Eye damage can occur rapidly, without any pain, since there are no nerves in the eyes.
On June 8, the telescope at the Upper Station of The Duquesne Incline will project the image of the Solar Transit of Venus onto a portable movie screen, for safe viewing. Observing the Sun, with a telescope, should only be attempted by people who have received the proper training. Observing of the Solar Transit of Venus, at the Upper Station of The Duquesne Incline, will be supervised by former Buhl Planetarium lecturer Glenn A. Walsh.
[ More ]
News Release: Safe Viewing of Rare Astronomical Event 2004 May 20 Page 2 of 2
For further questions about safely viewing the Solar Transit of Venus --
send an electronic mail message to < firstname.lastname@example.org >
or telephone 412-561-7876.
Friends of the Zeiss is a new non-profit organization whose mission is the eventual reinstallation and reuse of historic equipment from Pittsburgh’s original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, including the Zeiss II Planetarium Projector and the 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope.
Prior to its 2002 October dismantling, the historic
Zeiss II Projector was the oldest
operable major planetarium projector in the world! More information about
Friends of the Zeiss, including a comprehensive history of The Buhl Planetarium
For 127 years, The Duquesne Incline has transported
commuters and visitors between
Last month, The Duquesne Incline opened a new platform
that allows the public to view the operation of the historic equipment which
moves the two cable cars, located at the Upper Station. The Incline’s Upper
Station also includes a small Museum, Gift Shop, and an Observation Deck for
Free-of-charge parking is available for Duquesne
Incline patrons at the parking lot between
More information about The Duquesne Incline, including the Incline’s history, can be found on the Incline’s Internet web site at URL: < http://www.incline.cc >.
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