Wabash Wakes Up for Transit of Venus

by Steve Charles

June 8, 2004


Crawfordsville High School students look through a glass darkly.



Associate Professor of Physics Jim Brown aligns the scope under the watchful eye of Henry Swift, son of Wabash archivist Beth Swift.



Wabash physics major Chris Carpenter '06 views the transit.



Crawfordsville High School English teacher Dr. Helen Hudson takes a look.


Transits of Venus across the disk of the Sun are among the rarest of planetary alignments, and a small group of Wabash students, faculty, and friends were determined not to miss this one. Thanks to Associate Professor of Physics Jim Brown, they didn't have to.

After inviting community members to the viewing via email, Brown set up the College's 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope on the sidewalk behind Little Giant Stadium at 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Only six transits of Venus have occurred since the invention of the telescope (1631, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874 and 1882). The next transits of Venus will occur  June 6, 2012. The next after that - over a century from now on December, 11, 2117, and December 8, 2125.


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