Thursday, June 7, 2012

Took a little detour on our way home. Notice the moon! Absolutely gorgeous!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Apart from being clouded out for a few hours in the morning, we have succesfully observed and recorded the Transit of Venus!! The feedback and genuine excitement from everyone at CMS and Alice Springs, Australia has been overwhelming! On behalf of Columbus State University and the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, THANK YOU for hosting us and being a part(ner) of this historic event!
Almost at 3rd contact!!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

We are live with an image!!
Sun is starting to peak out. Images soon!
Clouded out here for the moment. Clouds should be deminishing soon. Stay tuned!

We are up (barely) and ready to head to CMS for the Transit of Venus!!!! We see a few clouds out but keeping our fingers crossed that they will disapate by first contact @7:45 . hope you all will tune in in a few hours!!

It took longer than we thought to get the scopes aligned and set just right. We finally got the two scopes aligned with the sun in view. Its a lot harder than it looks. Since we can't keep the rig in place we have to store it in the school and bring it back out in the morning. Hopefully it won't take too much more tweaking in the morning. We both feel confident though. Until tomorrow, cheers!! from Australia!!
Its about 2:40 pm. We are still trying to align and setup the telescope.We expect everything to work well. The webcam is all setup and operational. We will use this to stream to NASA. Its live right now with no sound, but you can see us! (

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rock star Michael being interviewed by ABC

Setting up for the trial run. 

Almost set up to start a dry run. 

We have picked our spot.

Just got to CMS. Looks like its going to be a beautiful day for the test run!

Transit is a go in Alice Springs

Just did a final check of the weather. All is go for practice tomorrow and the event on June 6 (June 5 for you in the USA) The staff and students at Centralian Middle School have been wonderful! Keep an eye out for some test shots as we go though out test checklist tomorrow.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Setting up for the news
Just checked weather. Its looking good! As of right now, we are a go @ CMS!

This is the front lawn of CMS were we will be observing from. Thats if the weather holds.

Back at CMS for another round of classes. We have 4 today. Tomorrow will be a test run starting around 6:30am.
We are closely watching the weather as the big day gets closer. It calls for partly cloudy skies. With the generous help from Matt at Centralian Middle School we will be scoping out "plan B" sites. If it calls for cloudy skies Wednesday morning we may be traveling to another site on Tuesday. Keep your fingers crossed!

Michael and Lance having a few laughs with students during the School of the Air broadcast in Alice Springs.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Back in Alice Springs and back to work! 

This is the key to our hotel room in Uluru. They had a pretty neat way to conserve energy. Taking the key out to leave the room turned off all lights and the AC. Putting it back turned it back on. 

We had a gap in our schedule so we traveled to  Uluru (Ayers Rock). 

Dear future explorer:

We hope to excite your sense of wonder. We have seen how awed you are when you get to see a planet like Venus, Mars, or Saturn through a telescope. Imagine How much more exciting must it be to see one of those same planets silhouetted against the stunning backdrop of our Sun’s erupting activity? We invite you to discover by walking in the footsteps of explorers of the past. If you are able to live a moment in those shoes, everything you study, experience, and take for granted, becomes more meaningful and inspiring. This will be the one chance in your lifetime to walk in these shoes.
To nod to a famous quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” Events like this allow you to explore that idea…to acknowledge the lasting impact of early scientists and the foundations that have fueled the progression of science as we know it today. Would we have traveled to the Moon or sent probes into space without the early observations and calculations gathered and derived by watching Venus transit the Sun? Quite possibly not.
We want to show you that you are standing on a planet that's part of a larger solar system, and that by making observations - such as those we're making of the Transit of Venus - we can understand more about the solar system, our universe, and our place in them.

Friday, June 1, 2012

 Hello! Lance and I had some fun last night with our cameras, In the second picture I am pointing out the southern cross (Crux) and let me tell you the skies are AMAZING here.

In the studio at the School of the Air in Alice Springs. We talked virtually to students in several regions around Australia. They could see us via the web and could text or use their computer microphone to ask questions. Some were 1200km away. Michael and I were humbled and honored to be able to represent Columbus State University and the CCSSC in such a far reaching educational event.