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Good Astronomy: The Venus Transit of June 8, 2004

TV interview schedule Links

Note: (added June 10, 2004):
I did something like 35 live television interviews for the transit, and a couple are online: KUSA Denver, and MSNBC. If either of those links doesn't work, try doing a search on "Venus" on the respective websites. I was able to sneak out between interviews to see the transit myself, with the help of my friend Tom Bridgman. He had a filtered camera with a telephoto set up, and a pair of filtered glasses too. With the glasses, I could just make out the tiny dot of Venus on the edge of the Sun, bare minutes before the end of the transit. It was amazing! The telephoto showed it clearly as a black disk. Seeing that was truly astounding. I can't wait for the next one in 2012!

And with that, here is the original transit page I put up just a few days before the event.

image of 1882 transit On June 8, 2004, the planet Venus will do something no living human has ever seen: it will pass directly in front of the Sun.

This event is like a mini-eclipse, with the dark disk of Venus taking about 6 hours to cross the face of the Sun. Because of the size and distance of the planet, it will appear to be about 1/30th the diameter of the Sun, crossing at a shallow chord along the southern limb of our nearest star.

diagram of transit There are already a zillion websites with more info than I could ever hope to convey, so instead of going into details of the transit I'll simply list the links below. Most of those sites have details on how to safely observe the transit, where you can see the transit, and more.

Ironically, I probably won't see it: I'll be in Washington, DC doing a series of live television interviews about the transit! Below is a table of the times for the interviews and the TV stations (with links if I could find 'em). As I write this, 30 stations have confirmed! The interviews start at 6:00 a.m. Eastern (US) time, which my body will think is 3:00 a.m., so I expect to be groggy and semi-delirious. It should make for an entertaining morning.

Alert! (as of June 7, 2004): The following list was updated and should be complete. There may still be some additions at the last minute, but I won't be able to update this page. Sorry.

Interview Times and Locations
Time (EDT) Station Location Station and Channel
06:06 - 06:10 Roanoke, VA WDBJ 7
06:11 - 06:15 Greenville, SC WSPA 7
06:16 - 06:20 Rochester, NY WHEC
06:26 - 06:30 Dallas, TX KXAS 5
06:31 - 06:35 Tampa/St. Petersburg/Sarasota WWSB 7
06:36 - 06:40 Columbus, OH WLWT
06:41 - 06:45 Rochester, NY WROC 8
06:46 - 06:50 Johnson City, TN WJHL 11
06:51 - 06:55 Minneapolis, MN KARE 11
07:06 - 07:10 Detroit, MI WJBK
07:11 - 07:15 ST. Louis, MO KSDK
07:16 - 07:20 Wichita, KS KWCH
07:21 - 07:25 Evansville, IN WFIE
07:26 - 07:30 Denver, CO KUSA
08:01 - 08:05 Idaho Falls, ID KIDK 3
08:06 - 08:10 Boise, ID KBCI 2
08:11 - 08:15 Denver, CO KWGN 2
08:16 - 08:20 Denver, CO KCNC 4
08:21 - 08:25 Fresno, CA KMPH 26
08:26 - 08:34 (taped, aired later) National MSNBC
08:35 - 08:40 Phoenix, AZ KPNX 12
08:41 - 08:45 San Francisco, CA KPIX 5
08:46 - 08:50 Seattle, WA KING 5
08:51 - 08:55 Sacramento, CA KXTV 10
09:11 - 09:15 Spokane, WA KXLY 4
09:16 - 09:20 Las Vegas, NV KVVU 5
10:41 - 10:45 San Diego CA KFMB 8
10:46 - 10:50 Hawaii KHON
10:51 - 11:00 Phoenix, AZ KSAZ 10