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VENUS TRANSIT IN JUNE 2004: EXOPLANETS AND THE SIZE OF THE WORLD

Objective

On June 8, 2004, planet Venus will pass in front of the Sun. This event, a transit, is extremely rare - the last one occurred 121 years ago. Easily observable in Europe, it will most certainly generate unprecedented attention from the media and the public. This project aims at transforming curiosity into knowledge and interest in European science through large-scale pedagogic action, specially geared towards the importance of uncertainty in scientific observations, the leading European role in the discovery of extra-solar planets and the measure of the Universe. This project will set up a large international network of individuals (teachers, students, amateur astronomers, etc.), and institutions (planetariums, science centers, etc.). It will encourage them to participate in real-time measurements of one of the most fundamental astronomical parameters, the distance from the Earth to the Sun. It will explain the relation of this event to a current front-line research area, the search for extra-solar planets by the transit method; the only one, which, in the near future, will enable the discovery of Earth-size planets and thus possibly, alien habitable worlds. The project will promote international collaboration throughout Europe, and also in Africa and Asia, by observing the same rare celestial event, debating it via web and adding local observational contributions to a large, common database. The project is centred on the delivery of the detailed explanation in all European languages of all aspects (scientific, technical, historical etc.) of the event itself and its implication in the search for life, and on the involvement of media, teachers and amateur astronomers to ensure the highest return. The Internet will be the main vector of interaction. To emphasize the sociological importance of this event, a video contest will be launched. The project will be thoroughly evaluated in terms of impact and management in a Final Event during the Science Week.

Call for proposal

FP6-2002-SCIENCEANDSOCIETY-2
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Coordinator

EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY
Address
Karl-schwarzschild-strasse 2
Garching
Germany

Participants (3)

OBSERVATOIRE DE PARIS
France
Address
Avenue Denfert-rochereau, 77
Paris
EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION FOR ASTRONOMY EDUCATION
Germany
Address
Karl-schwarzschild-str. 2
Garching
ASTRONOMICAL INSTITUTE - ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Czechia
Address
Observatory Ondrejov Fricova1
Ondrejov