Message from Lisa Wells:

Aloha! Enjoy!

This issue highlights the upcoming Transit of Venus in June, and astrobiology. We are grateful for your feedback and support of our venture. Feel free to send an email.


CFHT Community Outreach

Recent Past Events

January 9th, 29th & March 16th, 2012: Observatory staff gave Outreach Tours to the summit for those events where CFHT donated a summit tour (for 4 people) to charities for silent auctions.

January 16th, 2012: Several CFHT astronomers went to Hawaii Prepatory Academy to judge their science fair which was held from 3:30pm to 5pm at the Village campus dining room. The projects were set up for several days for students to view. Some of the students were invited to the state competition as well.

Awards At State Science & Engineering Fair

January 21st, 2012: CFHT astronomer Daniel Devost gave the public lecture at the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo at 7pm.

January 28nd, 2012: CFHT participated in the Ellison Onizuka Science Day at the University of Hawaii, Hilo from 8am to 3:15pm. Astronaut Mike Fincke hosted a session. Interactive workshops were held for students grades 4 - 12. Click on the images below for an enlargement.

David Woodworth mans the booth Marc Baril shows the sun with the HAlpha Filter on a telescope Other booths Other booths Nadine Manset shows what the constellation Orion looks like from other places in our galaxy Astronaut Michael Fincke signing autographs

January-March, 2012: Over the past few months, CFHT has given meeting space to the Hawaii Island Festival Management Committee for planning of the upcoming events on the Big Island.

February 19th, 2012: Several of our staff helped in the judging at the East Hawaii Division Science Fair held at the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo.

March 8th, 2012: CFHT sent several staff members to the Kohala Middle School Science Fair to help with the judging. Some of the students were treated with a trip to Washington, DC.

Kohala Students Honored in Washington, DC

April 13th, 2012: CFHT hosted a teleconference with the Anne Fitzgerald Catholic Elementary School in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. CFHT staff members answered questions from 6th grade students about the observatory, space, and astronomy. Click on the images below for an enlargement.

CFHT Staff Answer Questions From Left to Right: Marc Baril, Karun Thanjavur, Daniel Devost, and Eder Martioli CFHT Staff Answer Questions CFHT Staff Answer Questions CFHT Staff Answer Questions CFHT Staff Answer Questions

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Upcoming Events

May 5th, 2012: AstroDay will be held at Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo from 10am-4pm with the highlight being on the Venus Transit which will occur on June 5th this year and will be visible from Hawaii. There will be many booths set up in the Mall so come and join us.

June 5th, 2012: Venus Transit: This will be your opportunity to view an event which happens in pairs once every 112 years on average. The last transit of Venus was June 8, 2004, but before that, it occured on December 6th, 1882. CFHT plans to have observational opportunities downtown in Kamuela, at 65-1238 Mamalahoa Highway. The transit begins at 12:10 pm and will go almost until sunset. This will be your last chance until December of 2117. We will have telescopes set up for viewing, hopefully on a big screen, and we will be playing the "Transit of Venus March" written by John Phillip Sousa in 1883. We will have calendars for sale and refreshments will be provided. We will not be hosting any events at the summit of Mauna Kea for this event and it is likely to be very crowded at the summit.

Transit of Venus March

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CFHT Welcomes New Executive Director

The term of the CFHT Executive Director, Christian Veillet, ends at the end of April. On May 1st we will be welcoming a new ED, Doug Simons. Doug is a former staff member and director of the Gemini Observatory and was a former resident astronomer here at CFHT. He received his undergraduate degree in Astronomy from CalTech, and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Welcome Doug.

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Venus Transits Sun in June 2012

There are many preparations going on island wide for the upcoming Venus Transit on June 5th, 2012. CFHT will have viewing at its Waimea office, as will the W.M. Keck Observatory. The summit of Mauna Kea will have many people but the NASA Edge group will be doing their podcast of the event from just outside the IRTF building. Many of the observatories in Hilo will be hosting viewing as will the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center. There are events also on Oahu hosted by the Institute for Astronomy with viewing at Waikiki beach for example. Keep an eye on the newspapers as the event approaches and pick your place for viewing. Remember that weather may be a factor so you will want to keep an eye on the sky. Here's hoping the sky will be clear over the islands.

2004 Venus Transit

Information About Venus

The Universe in the Classroom This site has a great many links at the end of the page to other sites with information about the Venus transit.

NASA Edge Group's PodCast Site You will find their promo at the top of the page

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Forming Organic Compounds for Life in the Early Solar System

"Complex compounds, including many important to life on Earth, were readily produced under conditions that likely prevailed in the primordial solar system. Scientists at the University of Chicago and NASA Ames Research Center came to this conclusion after linking computer simulations to laboratory experiments." If you are curious about how the building blocks for life may have been formed in the early solar system, here is a great article from Science Daily.

Forming Organic Compounds

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Astronomer's Search for Life's Ingredients in Space

"Many of the organic molecules that make up life on Earth have also been found in space. A University of Michigan astronomer will use the Herschel Space Observatory to study these chemical compounds in new detail in the warm clouds of gas and dust around young stars."

Astronomer's Search for Life's Ingredients

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Rocky Planets Around Nearby Stars

"A new result from ESO's HARPS planet finder shows that rocky planets not much bigger than Earth are very common in the habitable zones around faint red stars. The international team estimates that there are tens of billions of such planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone, and probably about one hundred in the Sun's immediate neighborhood."

Rocky Planets

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NASA's Space Biology Outreach Program

NASA's Web of Life is tasked by the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate with imparting the relevancy and results of NASA's research. Here you will find many resources for learning about experiments which went up in space, mining and construction on the moon or Mars, and topics like how the human body is affected in space. There are many resources for helping in the teaching of these and many more topics.

NASA's Space Biology Site

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Astronomy Online

Here is a website written by Ricky Leon Murphy. He has compiled a great deal of information about many different topics which I think many will find useful. It also has many useful astronomical equations and some examples of how they are used. I hope you have fun using this website.

Astronomy Online

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Pathways to Science

Pathways to Science is a project of the Institute for Broadening Participation (IBP). It supports pathways to the STEM fields: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This is a great site to find science camps, undergraduate summer research opportunities, and much more for those considering going on to graduate school. They also have a resource which could help find funds for students and teachers to attend camps, work in a summer program, or attend a conference.

Pathways to Science

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Tools for Educators

Here are some tools which may be useful for anyone. These are only suggestions and before spending your money on those things which have a price, you may want to investigate it for yourself before buying and make sure they have a return and refund policy.

NASA's Astrobiology Comic Books

Astronomy: A Self-Teaching Guide (Book)

Stargazing: Astronomy Without a Telescope

Clever Catch Ball

The Everything Kids Astronomy Book

Upcoming Astronomical Events
  1. Venus Transit - On June 5th, the planet Venus will transit in front of the sun. This event begins at 12:09pm, and continues until 6:49pm. The entire event will be visible from Hawaii and many local observatories will have viewing of the event. See above for details of the CFHT event.
  2. Eclipses - There will be an annular solar eclipse of the sun on May 20th starting at 12:06 pm, to 3:39pm HST. Unfortunately we will not see the ring of the sun around the moon from Hawaii. It will be visible for parts of Japan, passing just S of the Aleutian Islands (well N of Hawaii), and entering California, Nevada, and passing over the 4 corners area and into Texas. If you happen to be traveling to any of these areas, take the time to check out this event. On June 3rd, 2012 there will be a partial lunar eclipse beginning at 10:48pm, and going until 3:18am. It will be at the greatest part of the eclipse at 1:03am on June 4th. The moon will look like a bite was taken out of it. About one third of the surface will enter the umbra. We should be able to see the entire event from Hawaii if the skies are clear.
  3. Meteor Showers - We have the Lyrid meteor shower starting this week. It will be peaking the morning of April 21st, and the evening of April 22nd. Best to find a dark site, and watch toward the constellation Lyra. Predictions are for only about 20 per hour but the moon will be ideal at one day past new. Also look for the Eta-Aquariids which will be peaking on May 5th in the evening and morning hours. Predictions are for 60 per hour but the moon will be full and bright hampering best efforts. The brightest of the meteors should still be visible. On the evening of July 28th and morning of July 29th, watch for the S Delta-Aquariids. The moon will be just after first quarter and will be setting for the last hours of the morning giving good viewing of the peak which is predicted to be 20 per hour. As an early warning, the Perseid meteor shower will be peaking on the evening of August 11, and morning of the 12th. The moon will be in the morning sky so again, watch for the brightest of these. As usual predictions are for 90 per hour. All these meteor showers are best viewed from midnight to sunrise. Meteors should be visible for 1-3 days either side of the peak also. For more about watching meteor showers, check out the site for The American Meteor Society.
  4. Comets - There are several challenging objects to find in the sky so check out updates at the Sky Hound site: Comet Chasing. You will need binoculars or a small telescope to see many of these objects.
  5. Planets - On the evening of April 21st, look for Mercury to be close to Uranus. Look for Mars to be close to the Moon on the evening of May 28th and morning of May 29th. They will be closest at 1am our time. At 8pm on June 6th, look for Jupiter close to the Pleiades (M45). Look for Saturn and the moon close together at midnight on the evening of June 27th. Look for double moon transits on Jupiter at 10:55pm on July 13th, at 11:52pm and 12:54am on July 20th, and at 1:46am & 2:52am on the evening of July 27th (actually the morning of the 28th).
  6. Solstice - The summer solstice will occur on June 20th at 1:09pm.

All times listed above are HST unless otherwise indicated. The link below contains many calendars and includes a nice section on astronomical events. Check it out!


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We gratefully acknowledge the following online sources: Google Search Engine, Yahoo's Picks of the Week, and the Science Daily.
This page is compiled by Lisa Wells, CFHT Remote Observer
This page is designed by Tito Jankowski, maintained by Lisa Wells, CFHT Remote Observer