Big Picture Science – Mass Transits

by Gary Niederhoff on May 28, 2012

On June 5, our sister planet Venus will slowly slide across the face of the sun. This will be the last transit of Venus until 2117, so there’s no subsequent chance to observe this celestial spectacular for anyone alive today.

Join us for a special episode devoted to this rare event. Two centuries ago, nations were locked in a race to be the first to measure the Venus transit. From the first observation by the “father” of British astronomy to Captain Cook’s Tahitian expedition in the 18th century, meet the pioneers who were trying to nail down the scale of the cosmos

Plus, tips for observing the 2012 transit … how the Kepler spacecraft uses transits to detect Earth-like worlds … and could there be life floating in Venusian clouds? Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: The Transit of Venus
Part 2: Jeremiah Horrocks 1639
Part 3: Captain Cook 1769
Part 4: Black Drop Effect 1874
Part 5: The Kepler Mission
Part 6: Life on Venus?

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