Transit of Venus 2012

Transit of Venus 2012

Pakuranga College, Auckland

The Transit of Venus on June 6th 2012 was a natural spectacle on a vast scale that will not be seen again in any of our lifetimes. To help schools to witness this amazing astronomical event, Schoolgen sent out 10 pairs of special solar viewing glasses to our 42 Schoolgen schools. These 'eclipse shades' allowed students and teachers to safely view the passage of Venus across the face of the sun. These eclipse shades can also be used again to view the partial solar eclipse which will be seen in New Zealand on 14th of November 2012.

Rob Duff, the Schoolgen Educator for Secondary and Intermediate schools, in collaboration with the science department at Pakuranga College, set up his 80 mm refracting telescope with a solar filter over the objective lens, as well as a solar-scope. The weather forecast was poor over most of New Zealand, but we were very fortunate to be allowed a window of clear sky for the first hour of the transit. A large number of students were able to see this event. Students and teachers were all amazed and excited at what they saw. The solar-scope which allows more than one person to safely view a projected image of the sun was particularly effective. The telescope with solar filter was also great but had to be continually realigned due to the motion of the sun and being easily bumped out of alignment by the crowd. In addition to the perfect disc of Venus, some prominent sun-spots were also clearly seen. The sharp eyes of the students enabled them to safely see Venus without magnification using the eclipse shades.

Pakuranga College

Napier Intermediate School