Welcome to Easter Island

June 5-6, 2012


Version en Español

We invite you to come see the transit of Venus in Easter Island.

On June 5, 2012, Venus will pass in front of the Sun, an event that only happens twice each century. The last transit was in 2004 and the next one will be in 2117. On this occasion, those on Easter Island can watch this event in the afternoon at sunset. Several astronomers from the Universidad de Chile at Cerro Calan, Universidad Catolica, Universidad Andres Bello, and Cerro Tololo Observatory will venture to this remote location for a weekend of outreach activities including a sunset viewing of the transit. At night, we will have a sky show and telescope observations.

Don't miss the event of the century on Easter Island! Join us for a unique weekend of Astronomy outreach on one of the most unique and stunning places on Earth.

More details on the Events page (English version).

The list of participants includes, from Universidad de Chile, Jackie Faherty, David Rodriguez, Francisco Forster Buron, Helene Flohic, Santiago Gonzalez, Patricio Rojo and Natalie Huerta; from Universidad Andrés Bello, Milena Bufano and Isabelle Gavignaud; from Universidad Católica, David Murphy; and from Cerro Tololo, Catherine Kaleida.



Are you interested in the transit of Venus? Are you aware of or leading any school groups? Our team (Team Hetu'u, for the rapanui word for star) would love to coordinate with you to measure the contact times of the transit! Making these very simple time measurements across the globe can help our students calculate the distance to the Sun. What do you need to do?

  • Contact us (here or via email: jfaherty17@gmail.com) to let us know you'll be helping. You'll be added to our network map located on this page.
  • Have a calibrated clock at the time of transit
  • Measure the contact times (ingress interior and egress interior) as well as you can. This website can help you find out when these will be.
  • As a secondary measurement, one can match images taken at the same time. If you are photographing the event, we would like to have pictures taken at exactly (or close to) the 10's of each hour (for example, 16:10, 17:10, 18:10, etc).
  • Be sure to take a photograph of you and your students watching/measuring/enjoying the transit!

For mathematical details on how you can calculate this distance you can see this PDF document (Spanish) or webpage (English).



The Easter Island Venus Transit events were a huge success! We wish to thank all the schools and the museum for their participation and to all members of the Hetu'u Global Network (HGN) for the contact measurements. With these contact times we were able to calculate distances to the Sun of 152 +/- 30 million kilometers and 163 +/- 30 million kilometers for second and third contact. The results of this work is described in an Astronomical Education Review article.

We took many excellent pictures and HGN members did so likewise. Here are a set of links to Flickr albums so you can enjoy these outreach photos:
Transit of Venus at Ahu Tahai
Easter Island Outreach
Hetu'u Global Network

Maururu! (Thanks!)