Hiram College

The Stephens Memorial Observatory of Hiram College is hosting a public viewing of the transit of Venus on June 5, 2012.

The viewing will begin at 6 p.m., weather permitting, and will take place at the former site of the Hiram Elementary School on Bancroft Street, just west of Peckham Avenue, in the village of Hiram. The event is free of change, no registration required, and attendees may come and go at any time. Telescopes will be set up for viewing.

A transit of Venus occurs when that planet crosses (transits) the face of the Sun as viewed from Earth. The orbital arrangements of Earth and Venus make transit events few and far between. The next transit takes place in the year 2117, and then it will not be visible from Northeastern Ohio.

James Guilford, Director of the Stephens Memorial Observatory, said transits of Venus have been of interest to astronomers for a long time. The first recorded observation of the event took place in 1639 when telescopes were first being used in astronomy. Later, using more advanced telescopes and expeditions deployed to distant corners of the Earth, transits of Venus were used to discover the true size of the solar system.

Heavy clouds or inclement weather will cancel the local viewing event. For more information, please visit the Stephens Memorial Observatory website.