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Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Venus Transit, 6 June/2012

Eclipse, when two objects of comparable sizes block each other, occultation, when a body with greater angular size blocks an object with smaller angular size and transits, when an object with lesser angular size come in between the observer and an object with greater angular size are some of the celestial wonders that naturally occur due to movements of the celestial bodies. One such cosmic event, the Venus Transit- passing of Venus in front of Sun’s disk will take place on the coming 06 June 2012. The transit of Venus occurs in pairs with one that took place on 08 June 2004. The next pair of transit of Venus will occur in 2117 and 2125, making it truly once in life time opportunity. The first recorded observation of the transit of Venus was done by the British Priest, Jeremiah Horrocks, in 1639. Jeremiah Horrocks was the first who used his observations to measure the Earth to Sun distance, called the Astronomical Unit (AU). The upcoming Transit of Venus- 06 June 2012 will be a life time opportunity for everyone on the Earth. In India, on 06 June 2012, transit will commence well before sun rises and one can observe the phenomena on Sun’s projected image or through approved solar filters supplied by authorised agencies from morning hours to mid morning. Keeping this event as a peg, VP is proposing to organise a series of regional training programme in different parts of the country between April and May 2012 to train and make a set of resource persons on conducting Day Time Astronomy activities. Each participants of the workshop would have to undertake to initiate activities on Day time astronomy at least in ten villages/ schools. Vigyan Prasar invites amateur astronomers, science activists, science communicators, teachers (School and college) who are desirous of joining the regional training programme, and who are ready to give undertaking that they will at least conduct 10 field level programmes subsequent to receiving the training may apply. The last date for application is 20 March 2012. The shortlisted applicants will be informed through mail/letter/phone by 01 April 2012. The travel support restricted to AC-II and frugal accommodation at the place of training programme will be provided by Vigyan Prasar.

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