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The Scoop

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Indiana events set for rare Venus transit

Statement as issued Thursday by the Indiana DNR:

Several Indiana state parks and state recreation areas will host viewing programs for the once-in-a-lifetime Venus transit on June 5.

The Venus transit is a rare astronomical event in which Venus passes between the sun and the earth. During the transit, Venus will appear as a small black dot moving slowly across the face of the sun. The next Venus transit is in 2117.

The state parks and recreation areas offer a good view of the western horizon, which is important for the observation. At many properties, astronomers and astronomy clubs will offer information about the transit and answer questions.

The properties will also make it easy to observe the transit safely. Observing the transit without proper equipment could cause eye damage. The properties will provide viewing glasses and in some cases filtered telescopes and other equipment.

The transit will start around 6 p.m. EDT and be visible until sunset, around 9 p.m. EDT.

State properties with programs include:

–Monroe Lake, Paynetown SRA: Kids crafts are 1:30–5 p.m. Short videos about the event are from 3-5 p.m. and viewing with the Indiana University Astronomy Club is 6–8 p.m.

–Falls of the Ohio State Park: Viewing with Louisville Astronomical Society is 6 p.m. to sunset.

–Stave Hollow SRA: Viewing with Stonebelt Stargazers Astronomy Club starts at 5 p.m.

–Hardy Lake: A pontoon ride will take place during the transit. Registration is required in advance at (812) 794-2244.

–Indiana Dunes State Park: Viewing starts at 7 p.m. CDT at the Beach Pavilion.

–Spring Mill State Park: Viewing with Stonebelt Stargazers Astronomy Club starts at 6 p.m. at the primitive campground.

–Patoka Lake: Viewing is 6 p.m. to sunset at the beach.

–Brookville Reservoir: Viewing starts at 5 p.m. at the Army Corps Overlook Shelter.

–Brown County State Park: Visitors should meet at the nature center at 6 p.m. and carpool to an overlook to view the transit with IU astronomer George Turner.

–Summit Lake State Park: Viewing starts at 6 p.m. at Sunset Shelter.

–Raccoon SRA: Raccoon SRA is partnering with Dr. Howard Brooks, professor of physics and astronomy, and DePauw University. A shuttle will be provided to DePauw from Raccoon SRA and will depart promptly at 4:45 p.m. Cost for shuttle is $3 per person and limited to 15.

While most programs are free, the normal gate fee of $5 per in-state vehicle and $7 per out-of-state vehicle will apply.

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