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Book Your Seat for Venus Transit

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NASA Television, in cooperation with NASA's Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum and the Exploratorium in San Francisco, will Webcast the transit starting at 1 a.m. June 8 through the event's conclusion. You can reach the NASA TV Webcast through links at sunearthday.nasa.gov.

The observatory at the University of Maryland is planning a public event to safely view the transit. For information, go to www.astro.umd.edu/openhouse

Skygazers can go to the Black Hill Regional Park (20926 Lake Ridge Dr., Boyds) in Montgomery County to watch the transit through correctly filtered telescopes. The event, in cooperation with local astronomers, will begin at 5:15 a.m. and end at 7:30 a.m. (For ages 6 to adult.) Admission is $5; for Friends of Black Hill, $4. For information, call 301-916-0220.

Montgomery College's planetarium has organized a viewing event. If the weather is clear, the event will be at the college's parking garage (top level) at Fenton and King streets, Takoma Park, from sunrise to 7:30 a.m. Details, www.montgomerycollege.edu/Departments/planet.

The Fairfax County Park Authority's Observatory Park at Turner Farm in Great Falls will host a transit viewing event from sunrise to 7:15 a.m., where there will be properly equipped telescopes and binoculars. Turner Farm is at Georgetown Pike and Springvale Road. Information, www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/turnerfarm/index.htm.

For detailed scientific information on the transit, visit a Web site developed by NASA astronomer Fred Espenak at sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/transit/venus0412.html.

Down-to-Earth Events:

June 7 -- William Borucki of NASA's Ames Research Center on "New Strategies for Detecting Life in the Universe," Einstein Planetarium, National Air and Space Museum. Free, but obtain tickets in advance. Information, lectures@nasm.si.edu, or call 202-357-2700.

June 19 -- View the cosmos with astronomer Sean O'Brien of the National Air and Space Museum at Sky Meadows State Park, near Paris, dusk to 11 p.m. $4 parking fee. Information, www.dcr.state.va.us/parks/skymeado.htm, or call 540-592-3556.

June 19 -- "Exploring the Sky," presented by the National Park Service and the National Capital Astronomers at Rock Creek Park, near the Nature Center, in the field south of Military and Glover roads NW, 9 p.m. Information, capitalastronomers.org, or call 202-895-6070.

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