Thursday, May 31, 2012

Setting up for huge broadcast to australian students!!

Mike setting up for just about the biggest audience of his life! ...broadcast throughout mid Australia!

3rd day 2nd class. Still going very well!

Boomerangs made by the indiginous people around Alice Springs, Australia. Interestingly these were not made to return. Those were mostly made on the coast.

We had some free time tonight so we stopped by this great didgeridoo shop.   The owner played a little for us which sounded amazing!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Another great class session with Bradshaw Primary. Had some great questions.

I made a new friend this morning. He was just outside our hotel lobby. Not sure if he was wild or not.
We just received a request from our first class to come back for an additional 1/2 hr!

So we rented a car and had a few laughable moments getting in the car on the wrong side. Their steering wheel is on the opposite side AND they drive on the other side of the road. Here Michael perfectly illustrates this :)

1st day 2nd class

Michael showing Centralian year 7 students the ccd chip inside the camera. He explains that instead of your eye looking through the telescope, the camera does. Then the video from the camera goes into the computer to be broadcast on the internet live.
Michael and I got turned around in one of the roundabouts this morning heading to the school. Lucky the school group is a little late too. We are in the classroom setting up waiting for the Bradshaw Primary school to arrive with their year 4/5 students.
Saw the southern cross last night just outside our hotel. It was gorgeous!


The Centralian school has been great and Michael and I feel VERY welcomed! They put together this board which includes a picture of the CCSSC!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Education in Alice Springs

First educational lesson done! The students are great, and I think I had a hard question during this image. The school here is amazing! More updates soon! Also will have a full webcast schedule up for the important events. Off to teach more students about the transit!
Michael and I made it safely to Alice Springs! Can't say the same for the equipment suitcases. Thankfully all equipment is ok. We have two presentations tomorrow to get ready for so signing out for now.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Michael, Scott & Mary going through the massive amount of equipment and parts that need to be packed.

Michael Johnson with the master plan! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Please stay tuned to our 2012 Transit of Venus coverage. This blog is currently being developed and will host text post, photos, videos and a whole lot more from all of our teams covering this incredible, astronomical event! This blog will be a broadcast of our adventures! The LIVE transit images will be viewable at Both sites will be active during the event so bookmark us now!
Preparing the scopes for the Transit!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

On June 5, 2012, a unique celestial event will take place, never to be repeated in our lifetimes. The planet Venus will align itself perfectly between the Earth and the Sun. This rare alignment will allow Venus to be visible as it passes directly across the face of the Sun in an event that astronomers call a transit. The 2012 Transit of Venus will last nearly 7 hours, and it will provide an extraordinary viewing event for observers around the world. Unfortunately, this event is not well positioned for audiences in the continental United States and will only be visible to Georgia viewers for about 2 hours as the Sun sets in the west. An additional limitation in viewing the Sun is the danger posed to the naked eye, therefore special equipment and techniques are required to create a safe observing environment.

In an effort to make this event more accessible to the public, Columbus State University’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center (CCSSC) has partnered with NASA and the International Space School Education Trust (ISSET) to provide a multi-continent webcast of the 2012 Transit of Venus. Audiences throughout the world, including those in Georgia, will have an opportunity to experience this entire event safely via the internet and NASA TV. CCSSC teams will travel to both the Gobi Desert in Mongolia and the Australian outback near Alice Springs to be in optimal observing conditions to acquire images and video of the entire transit. Additionally, one CCSSC team will remain in Georgia to provide local images and video of the event and Columbus State University student, Katherine Lodder, will provide a second set of U.S. images from Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. The three continental teams will be equipped with hydrogen alpha, calcium K-line, and solar white light filters that will allow for spectacular imaging of this event. These filters are provided by the CCSSC’s Mead Observatory, where they are used regularly to obtain images and animations of solar phenomena such as sunspots, flares, plages, faculae, prominences, and filaments. Typically, students from Columbus State study these solar phenomena to better understand the Sun’s cycle of activity and its interaction with the Earth. However, during the Transit of Venus, these solar features will become, for one final period in our lives, the stunning backdrop against which Venus’s planetary disk will cross the Sun’s 865,000-mile wide face.

With your help, this could be one of the largest astronomical webcast events on record. View the transit with the CCSSC team at or by linking through our partners at NASA’s Sun Earth Day website,

Three Wavelengths…Three Continents…

One Worldwide Webcast Event

2012 Transit of Venus… Chronicling History Together