The Governor of Western Australia, His Excellency Dr Malcolm McCusker, will open a special event on Wednesday at the Gravity Discovery Centre - the viewing of the transit of Venus across the Sun.
This will be the last transit for this century and will be visible through solar telescopes at the Gravity Discovery Centre and Gingin Observatory from sunrise to 12pm. The next transit will occur in December 2117.
The GDG is located at UWA's Gingin Gravity Precinct which includes the Gravity Wave Research Centre, which will also be open to visitors.
The Gingin event will include a large-screen viewing of the transit, seen through multiple telescopes with different magnifications, and two short lectures by astronomers about the event. Breakfast will be provided from 8am. School students and the general public are invited.
The transit happens when Venus passes between the Sun and the Earth, appearing as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun. The British discovery of Australia was triggered by the transit of 1769 when Lieutenant James Cook sailed to Tahiti to observe it and then travelled on to Terra Australis Incognita. The measurement of transits allowed the distance to the Sun to be determined, which led to the first recognition of the vast scale of the universe.
Note: Looking at the sun without eye protection can cause eye damage.
WHAT: Transit of Venus viewing.
WHEN: Wednesday 6 June 7.30am to 12.30pm (the Governor will inaugurate the event at 9.32am when the transit reaches maximum).
WHERE: Gingin Observatory and Gravity Discovery Centre, 1098 Military Road, Gingin West.
Winthrop Professor David Blair (UWA School of (+61 8) 6488 2736 / (+61 4) 09 687 703 Physics, Director Australian International Gravitational Research Centre) Anja Cherian (Manager Gravity Discovery Centre) (+61 8) 9575 7577 Michael Sinclair-Jones (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 00 700 783