Imiloa, Hilo Attractions | Transit of Venus
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In 1874, Kalākaua invited the world to view Venus transit the Sun. The Transit of Venus is among the rarest astronomical phenomena and won't happen again until the year 2117. Come and celebrate Hawaii's legacy of exploration and innovation at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center. So prepare now, and don't miss out on this extremely special event!

The planet Venus will pass directly between Earth and the Sun on Tuesday June 5, 2012. A silhouette of the transit of Venus across the Sun will be visible from Hawai‘i between 12:09 p.m. and 6:46 p.m. This rare alignment won’t happen for another 105 years.

This astronomical occurrence has played a very important role over the last few centuries in giving scientists a way to understand the size of the solar system.

There have been 53 transits of Venus across the Sun between 2000 B.C and 2004 A.D. History says that Jeremiah Horrocks was the first human to ever witness a transit by Venus in 1631.

'Imiloa Astronomy Center will have Special Programing for the Transit of Venus.  Visitors to the Center on June 5 will receive solar viewing glasses courtesy of Mauna Kea Support Services.

Below is the schedule of events and related pricing.

Saturday, June 2    

  • 7pm - AstroJazz Concert in the planetarium (Cherilynn Morrow)
    • Admission: $8 for members, $10 for non-members

Tuesday, June 5 – Transit Day

  • Daily admission rates apply:  entry includes one planetarium show, and entry into the Exhibit Hall
  • Educational and "Fun-novative" Hands on Activities in the Exhibit Hall
  • When Venus Transits the Sun Planetarium Show plays hourly beginning at 10am.(11am, 12 pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm)
    • This show is a fantastic full-dome program that looks into the rare and magnificent celestial apparition called a Venus transit. The show covers what a transit is, a famous transit viewing from the 18th century led by Captain Cook, information about the sun and Venus, how to view safely, and more.
  • Noon – 5pm on lawn - Transit observations with Sunspotters and Solar Telescopes (weather permitting) 
  • 10am –5pm Webcast of NASA Transit of Venus event shown in the Earl and Doris Bakken Moanahoku Hall.
    • NASA Webcast & TweetMeet: Live coverage of the Transit of Venus from Maunakea and other world sites - come watch and tweet with us!
  • Visitors to the Center on June 5 will receive solar viewing glasses courtesy of Mauna Kea Support Services.


Where will you or your ‘ohana be when the next transit of Venus happens in 2117?! Will we live on the Moon?! Or on other planets?!  Share your thoughts in the atrium.
Read headlines from 1874 when King David Kalākaua invited the world to Hawai‘i to view the Transit of Venus. The people of Hawai‘i excitedly awaited the upcoming phenomena. Read editorial articles from Hawaiian Language newspapers of those times!
Create your own world! What would it look like? Who would live there? Build yours at the Planet Factory.
There is order in the “chaos” of planetary orbits.  Witness in 4 dimensions the patterns of Venus transits!
Where is it? What does it look like? How many Earth-like planets are really out there? How we use transits to see them!
Visit Venus! Space out on the Moon! Our green screen will take you there! Your picture-postcards will be emailed to you!
The Sun can burn your eyes leaving you blind for life in seconds! Ask our ‘Imiloa Optometrist why you cannot look at the entire disk of the Sun, like when the transit of Venus occurs with. Never look at the Sun with devices that concentrate light even more, like binoculars or telescopes! Be sure to use solar viewers or your own pin hole projectors in the exhibit hall! Here are 6 ways to view the transit: Solar Viewing Glasses, Pin Hole Projectors, Projecting A Magnified View, A Sun Funnel, Solar Telescopes, or… can’t watch the transit? Tune into and watch live NASA coverage of the entire event with commentary from world-renowned scientists and transit specialists.

For more information on the Transit of Venus visit these links

Mauna kea Visitor Information Station (at the 9,000 feet) will have activities for the Transit of Venus.

Transit of Venus phone app

WARNING: Never look at the Sun with unprotected eyes. Permanent damage and even blindness will result. Special eye protection (solar filters) is required to safely view the transit and will be available at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i.