USF Hosted Expert on Upcoming Planetary Event

The transit of Venus, an astronomical occurrence that happens only twice a century, will take place June 5. To educate the public about this event, Chuck Bueter, a world-renowned authority on transits of Venus, gave an illustrated presentation at USF’s Gunderson Auditorium April 25.

Co-sponsored by USF’s Edwin Clark Schouweiler Planetarium and the Fort Wayne Astronomical Society, Bueter’s presentation, "Transit of Venus: An Astronomical Alignment with Meaning," was free to the public. With an engaging ability to connect science with history and culture, Bueter spoke on the significance of the transit of Venus over the past four centuries and its relevance to modern-day observers.

A transit of Venus occurs when the planet Venus passes directly between the sun and the earth, appearing as a dot that passes across the sun. Since a transit of Venus occurs in pairs, the 2012 occurrence is the second half of the 2004 pairing. The June 5 transit will be the seventh seen by humans since development of the telescope — and, since transit pairs repeat either 121.5 or 105.5 years apart, a transit of Venus will not occur again until 2117 and 2125.

A resident of northern Indiana, Bueter is an author, lecturer and planetarium educator. Over the past 10 years, he has educated people about the 2004 and 2012 transits of Venus. He developed a website for 2004 transit of Venus resources and co-produced a video for planetariums and other educators, promoting a rear-projection screen to provide groups with a telescopic view.

For the 2012 transit of Venus, Bueter has promoted education through conferences, webcasts, teacher training sessions, public lectures and articles. He wrote and directed a four-minute, full-dome video that summarizes transit of Venus history and introduces the modern discoveries of the Kepler mission. To learn more, visit transitofvenus.org/misc/what-the-chuck.