Special talk on the eve of the Transit of Venus – the last in our lifetime

30 May 2012

A special evening talk about the forthcoming Transit of Venus will take place at 6.30pm on Tuesday 5 June at Aberdeen Maritime Museum, Shiprow.

Venus orbits between Earth and the Sun but the sight of the planet crossing directly in front of the Sun is something we can see only once more in our lifetimes, in the early morning of Wednesday 6 June.

The free talk by Dr John S Reid, department of physics, University of Aberdeen and Aberdeen Astronomical Society, said: "TheTransit of Venus was a key sight in the past. It allowed our forebears in the 18th and 19th centuries to measure the size of the solar system. Aberdonian David Gill was a leading astronomer in this field in the 19th century. Now, transits of planets in front of their parent stars are the most fertile way of discovering extra-solar planets."

Dr Reid will discuss why the Transit of Venus has been so important in the past, why the transits are rare phenomena, what is in store for us on the morning of Wednesday 6 June and the best way to see the sight, weather permitting. He will conclude with some comments on extra-solar planets.

Curator Jenny Brown, of Aberdeen Maritime Museum added: "We're delighted that John has agreed to speak about the Transit of Venus at Aberdeen Maritime Museum. I'm looking forward to learning more about a rare celestial event, and one with such historical links to a local hero."

Admission to the talk is free but booking is essential by telephoning Aberdeen Maritime Museum on [01224] 337714.