USRA Commemorates the Transit of Venus
The transit of Venus is a rare planetary alignment that occurs when Venus passes directly between Earth and the Sun. Viewers on Earth see Venus as a small dot gliding slowly across the face of the Sun. Historically viewed by astronomer-luminaries like Galileo Galilee, Captain James Cook and Benjamin Franklin, this rare alignment allowed early calculations of the size of our Solar System. Planetary scientists use transits to determine atmospheric structure and composition of the planet Venus, and to provide constraints on measurements of extrasolar planets.
Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is an independent, nonprofit research corporation where the combined efforts of in-house talent and university-based expertise merge to advance space science and technology. USRA works across disciplines including biomedicine, astrophysics, and engineering and integrates those competencies into applications ranging from fundamental research to facility management and operations. USRA engages the creativity and authoritative expertise of the research community to develop and deliver sophisticated, forward-looking solutions to Federal agencies and other customers - on schedule and within budget.