Hawaii News Public has many places to see rare celestial event By Sarah Zoellick / email@example.com June 4, 2012 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! APFILE - This June 8 Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. Hawaii is well situated to observe two celestial events Tuesday, one rare and the other fairly common but still cool. The first is the transit of Venus, when the planet passes across the face of the sun, a phenomenon visible with proper eye protection. The second is a bright appearance of the International Space Station, weather permitting. The station will rise in the southwest at 8:39 p.m. and move left to right across the sky, passing under Mars at 8:41 p.m. The station will cut through the handle of the Big Dipper before it sets in the northeast at 8:45. Venus’ journey across the sun begins at 12:10 p.m. and ends at 6:45 p.m. The University of Hawaii-Manoa Institute for Astronomy and the Bishop Museum will sponsor several events Tuesday to mark the occasion. Hawaii is being billed as one of the best vantage points in the world for viewing the phenomenon because the entire transit will occur before the sun sets. Alaska, the western Pacific, eastern Asia and eastern Australia will also be excellent viewing locations. The Earth-size planet can typically be spotted in the night sky as one of the brightest orbs, but it will make a daytime debut in the Western Hemisphere on Tuesday as an apparent small black dot plodding across the surface of the sun. The last transit of Venus occurred in 2004, but it could not be viewed from the Western Hemisphere. Transits happen in pairs roughly every 100 years, and the next one isn’t until 2117. Looking directly into the sun to view the transit — even while wearing sunglasses — is dangerous, so the UH Institute for Astronomy will offer free "solar viewers" and a chance to watch the transit through telescopes fitted with solar filters at viewing sites around Oahu. The UH viewing locations and activities start at noon and conclude at dusk at three locations: » Sunset on the Beach in Waikiki, toward the Diamond Head end of Kalakaua Avenue, will have screens set up showing webcasts of the transit as viewed from Mauna Kea and Haleakala. Robotics displays and other science and technology activities will also be available. » The Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, on Ford Island, will remain open until dusk and feature free viewing of the transit of Venus and related activities. This venue will also offer a show in the Institute for Astronomy’s portable StarLab planetarium. Although military or Department of Defense identification is required to gain entry into the museum, civilians can make reservations by emailing SpecialEvents@pacificaviationmuseum.org or calling the museum at 441-1007 and providing your vehicle’s year, make, model and license plate number, and a government-issued ID number for each adult in the vehicle. The Arizona Memorial Visitor Center will also have tickets available for purchase, and visitors will be able to ride on a free shuttle bus to the museum. » Ko Olina Resort, near Lagoon 4, will feature ambassadors from Stars Above Hawaii (a commercial star show) as well as amateur astronomers. There will be free activities such as robotics and swimming in the lagoon. At the Bishop Museum’s Transit of Venus Festival, volunteers from the Hawaiian Astronomical Society will provide telescopes on the lawn from noon to 5 p.m. Also: » The 30-minute, full-dome planetarium program "When Venus Transits the Sun" will be shown at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m, 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The show explores the nature of the transit of Venus and covers the famous 1769 expedition of Capt. Cook to observe the transit from Tahiti. » A new 22-minute program called "Rekindling Venus" will be shown in the planetarium at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. "Rekindling Venus" calls for global cooperation for the current environmental dangers that threaten our coral reefs, just as warring nations found common ground to explore the transit of Venus in past centuries. » A 30-minute planetarium show, "The Sky Tonight," will be shown at 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. » A talk by Michael Chauvin, "A Transit of Venus and a Transient Romance: Bernice Pauahi Bishop and Chester Smith Lyman," starts at 10:45 a.m. and repeats at 2 p.m. Chauvin will discuss the 1874 transit of Venus as seen from Hawaii. » A discussion of the transit by Gareth Wynn-Williams, a UH professor of astronomy, opens at 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. » In "Astronomy and the Transit of Venus in Hawaii" at 1 and 3:45 p.m., UH astronomer Paul Coleman will discuss how astronomy in general, and the transit of Venus in particular, are important in the history of Hawaii. » "The Geology of Venus," a talk by Peter Mouginis-Mark of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology at UH-Manoa, starts at 3 p.m. » The Ahuawa Place Brass Quintet will perform John Philip Sousa’s "Transit of Venus March," inspired by the 1882 transit, "Venus" by Frankie Avalon and the theme from "Star Trek" at 12:45 p.m. on the lawn. » "Venus: The World Beneath the Clouds," a new 20-minute program, will allow visitors to explore our sister planet at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. Science on a Sphere, a vivid 6-foot globe in the planetarium lobby, will show images of Venus from NASA and Russian space missions. 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