Home > Amateur Astronomy, Astronomy, Solar System, Transits, Venus > NSO To Use Venus Transit To Fine-Tune Search For Other Worlds

NSO To Use Venus Transit To Fine-Tune Search For Other Worlds


A century ago, scientists chased transits of Mercury and Venus in an effort to size up our solar system. In a couple of weeks, they will use the last transit for a century to learn how to size up other solar systems as we search for life in the universe.

“Astronomers in the 18th and 19th centuries observed transits of Mercury and Venus to help measure the distance from Earth to Sun,” said Dr. Frank Hill, director of the National Solar Observatory’s Integrated Synoptic Program. “We have that number nailed down now, but transits are still useful. This one will help us calibrate in several different instruments, and hunt for extrasolar planets with atmospheres.”

Full Story: http://www.nso.edu/press/VenusTransit2012

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