European Southern Observatory (ESO)European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) Observatoire de ParisInstitut de Mécanique Céleste et de Calcul des Éphémérides (IMCCE)Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic The Venus Transit 2004 European Science & Technology Week 2004Visit the websites of the VT-2004 organisers

The Venus Transit 2004

... Extended InfoSheets

The VT-2004 website provides much information about the many aspects of the very rare Venus Transit event. We have collected a range of topics of particular relevance, both scientifically and socially. The Brief InfoSheets , sorted by themes, provide a brief introduction to most of these.

However, if you want to probe deeper into these issues, we advise you to consult the Extended InfoSheets that provide much more detailed information. The topics are listed below, with links to the sheets.

A. The Venus Transit - General
B. Observations - Calculations
C. The Solar System
D. Venus - the Planet
E. Exoplanets
F. History of Transit Observations
G. Basic Notions

A. The Venus Transit - General

  • A1 - What is the significance of the transit of Venus?
  • A2 - The Mercury Transit on May 7, 2003
  • A3 - Other transit phenomena in the solar system

B. Observations - Calculations

  • B1 - Predictions of the Venus transit of June 8, 2004
  • B2 - Observing transits of Venus on the solar disc
  • B3 - Recording the observations in Universal Time
  • B4 - An approximate method for calculating the parallax of the Sun
  • B5 - Observing the Sun through trees

C. The Solar System

  • C1 - Our solar system, its members and the planetary laws
  • C2 - The Sun - our central star
  • C3 - The Sun - Summary Sheet

D. Venus - the Planet

  • D1 - Venus - The second planet of the solar system
  • D2 - Venus - Summary Sheet
  • D3 - Venus' orbit and visibility - day, night and seasons on Venus
  • D4 - Venus, the Earth's sister planet ?
  • D5 - Space probes for mapping the planet Venus
  • D6 - The topography, geology and planetary history of Venus
  • D7 - The clouds of Venus - a description of the planet's atmosphere
  • D8 - Does life exist on Venus and on the other worlds of the solar system?
  • D9 - Venus in mythology
  • D10 - Venus in Science Fiction

E. Exoplanets

  • E1 - The Detection of Extrasolar Planets

F. History of Transit Observations

  • F1 - First predictions and the transits of 1631 and 1639
  • F2 - The 1761 transit of Venus
  • F3 - The 1769 transit of Venus
  • F4 - The 1874 transit of Venus
  • F5 - The 1882 transit of Venus
  • F6 - List of expeditions to observe the transit of Venus from the XVth century to the XIXth century
  • F7 - The 1882 Transit of Venus as seen from Chile

Note also that a CD-ROM has been produced by the Paris Observatory with more than 10,000 fascimile pages of historical documents related to transit expeditions and observations. Look here for a description (Word) with some examples of the pages. It is on sale via EDP Sciences.

G. Basic Notions

  • G1 - What is Light ?
  • G2 - What is Time ?
  • G3 - The definition of the astronomical unit and the other units of distance in astronomy
  • G4 - Distances in the Solar System: parallax and Kepler's laws
  • G5 - Distances in the Universe

Additional information about many of these issues is also available on other websites - look at the page with a collection of annotated links . Note also the webpage with Frequently asked Questions .