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Episode from the podcastBig Picture Science

Mass Transits

Released Monday, 28th May 2012
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On June 5, our sister planet Venus will slowly slide across the face of the sun. This will be the last transit of Venus until 2117, so there’s no subsequent chance to observe this celestial spectacular for anyone alive today.
Join us for a special episode devoted to this rare event. Two centuries ago, nations were locked in a race to be the first to measure the Venus transit. From the first observation by the “father” of British astronomy to Captain Cook’s Tahitian expedition in the 18th century, meet the pioneers who were trying to nail down the scale of the cosmos
Plus, tips for observing the 2012 transit … how the Kepler spacecraft uses transits to detect Earth-like worlds … and could there be life floating in Venusian clouds?
Guests:

Jay Pasachoff - Astronomer, Williams College

Peter Aughton - Astronomer and author of The Transit of Venus: The Brief, Brilliant Life of Jeremiah Horrocks, Father of British Astronomy

Nick Lomb - Former Curator of Astronomy, Sydney Observatory, and author of Transit of Venus: 1631 to the Present

Andrea Wulf - Author of Chasing Venus: The Race to Measure the Heavens

David Grinspoon - Curator of Astrobiology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Jon Jenkins - Lead analyst with the Kepler Mission and senior scientist with the SETI Institute

Descripción en español
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