It was the chance of a lifetime, but how many of us let it pass? On 8 June, Venus passed across the face of the Sun for the first time since 1882 and hundreds of thousands of people across the UK made sure they witnessed this rare event.
At Park Mains High School in Erskine, Scotland, chemistry teacher Paul Duddy and his science club made sure they did not miss out. Together with their Sandy Smith, they set up a telescope at the school to project the sun's image onto a white card. Of course, this being Scotland, the weather conditions were unrealiable, with thick cloud blocking the view much of the time. But they did get a few brief periods of sunshine, which allowed a number of the pupils to see the transit taking place.
“This was an amazing opportunity for all of us,” Kirstie Devine, one of the students in the science club. “I felt that seeing this once in a lifetime event was brilliant and I feel very lucky to have been given the chance to experience this.”
Over twenty students and staff were able to view the transit. Even though they struggled with the weather, it allowed a number of pupils and staff to see the event happening live. Unfortunately the weather prevented us from fulfilling all of our objectives for the day.
“It was heartening to see the positive responses, especially when the pupils were interviewed by Radio Clyde for transmission as a news item,” said Sandy. “Hopefully this might lead to an increase in membership of the science club next session.”