Science professor Gary Weston adjusts telescope for interested student. (Photo: Barry Zepel)

Science professor Gary Weston adjusts telescope for interested student. (Photo: Barry Zepel)

Science buffs watched Venus Transit as it crossed sun

  • June 5, 2012 9:00am

Cal State East Bay science faculty members Gary Weston and Louis Villaneuva led an observation of the Venus Transit June 5 from 3 to 6 p.m. and also observed the Sun and its current solar activity.

The observation, which took place on the CSUEB Hayward Campus at the Science East Lawn area, east of the Science buildings, used an 8” telescope featuring a Mylar filter to observe sunspots and the Venus transit. A small telescope using an H-alpha filter allowed viewers to see any solar prominences or flares and sunspots and dark spot made by Venus during transit

Although only a small black dot was visible on the Sun’s disk using a telescope with a solar filter, this transit of Venus is very rare, according to Weston.  The last transit of Venus occurred in 2004, and the next Venus transit will not occur for another 105 years, the professor noted.

"This transit confirms a deep understanding of celestial mechanics in the solar system and provides a reason for us to observe the Sun," said Weston. "It also allows viewing of the current solar activity through a telescope.

GW/BZ

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California State University, East Bay is the San Francisco East Bay Area's high-access public university of choice. CSUEB serves the region with campuses in Hayward and Concord, a professional development center in Oakland, and an innovative online campus. With an enrollment of more than 14,000, the University offers a nationally recognized freshman year experience, award-winning curriculum, personalized instruction, and expert faculty. Students choose from among more than 100 professionally focused fields of study for which the University confers bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as an Ed.D. in education. Named a "Best in the West" college, as well as a Best Business School, by the influential Princeton Review, Cal State East Bay is among the region's foremost producers of teachers, business professionals and entrepreneurs, public administrators, health professionals, literary and performing artists, and science and math graduates.

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