By Jeff Gallatin
Workers at the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center have set up a doubleheader to help people enjoy the transit of Venus between the Earth and the sun Tuesday afternoon June 5.
Frank Colosimo, visitor experience coordinator for the center, said there will be a planetarium presentation on the event at 4 p.m. In addition, shortly after the planetarium event concludes a special telescope viewing has been set for 5 p.m. by Fran Ratka, the planetarium director for the center.
“It’s a pretty rare event since the next one won’t be for more than 100 years, the vast majority of people alive right now won’t be around to see it again,” he said. “So, we’ve put together programs which should help people appreciate the event.”
Colosimo said the planetarium event is designed to answer questions about the event, where because of Venus’ transit between the Earth and Sun a tiny spot will be able to be seen going across the sun. Colosimo said the program will answer questions such as why the transit only happens infrequently, why they always occur in pairs and why it will be more than 100 years until the next.
“That will be a good one for people wanting more information to attend,” Colosimo said. “Space in the planetarium is limited, so we are charging a $3 fee for that program in the planetarium, so people should be aware of that. They also can preregister if they choose to.”
Colosimo said the planetarium event should last about 45 minutes. Then, at 5 p.m., the free telescope viewing will start.
“Fran actually set up the events so we could have the telescope viewing at the best time possible for people in Northeast Ohio to actually see the transit,” he said. “We also know that there’s danger in looking at the sun in an event like this, so she will have it set up using a special sunspotter projection scope for people to view it.”
Colosimo said people can attend one or both events.
“If you can make both, people are more than welcome too,” he said. “But, if you can only make one or the other, then you’re more than welcome to come for the one that you can make.”