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ERIC Number: EJ999211
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-1539-1515
The Hetu'u Global Network: Measuring the Distance to the Sun Using the June 5th/6th Transit of Venus
Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Rodriguez, David R.; Miller, Scott T.
Astronomy Education Review, v11 n1 p010203-1-010203-11 Dec 2012
In the spirit of historic astronomical endeavors, we invited school groups across the globe to collaborate in a solar distance measurement using the rare June 5/6th transit of Venus. In total, we recruited 19 school groups spread over 6 continents and 10 countries to participate in our Hetu'u Global Network. Applying the methods of French astronomer Joseph-Nicolas Delisle, we used individual second and third Venus-Sun contact times to calculate the distance to the Sun. Ten of the sites in our network had amiable weather; 8 of which measured second contact and 5 of which measured third contact leading to consistent solar distance measurements of 152 [plus or minus] 30 million km and 163 [plus or minus] 30 million km, respectively. The distance to the Sun at the time of the transit was 152.25 million km; therefore, our measurements are also consistent within 1[sigma] of the known value. The goal of our international school group network was to inspire the next generation of scientists using the excitement and accessibility of a rare astronomical event. In the process, we connected hundreds of participating students representing a diverse, multicultural group with differing political, economic, and racial backgrounds. (Contains 7 figures and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; California; Chile; China; Colombia; Denmark; Florida; Hawaii; Hong Kong; India; Iran (Tehran); Japan; Netherlands (Amsterdam); New York; Texas; United States