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June 2 – 7, 2012

Transit of Venus

The last Transit of Venus in our lifetime will occur at sunset June 5, 2012. Hawaii is one of the closest places to North America that the entire transit will be visible. Join Dave Eicher and Dr. Alex Filippenko as they lead the way with astronomical talks, star parties, and a visit to the Keck Observatory on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Your Tour includes:

  • Roundtrip air from selected USA gateways
  • Airport transfers
  • Five nights accommodations at the Royal Kona Resort
  • Welcome reception
  • All American buffet breakfast daily, two lunches
  • Traditional Hawaiian Luau
  • Sunset Dinner cruise
  • Visit Mauna Kea and the Keck Observatory
  • Distinguished Lecturers
  • Astronomy lectures and star parties
  • Optical viewing glasses for Transit
  • Stargazing



Saturday, June 2, 2012 USA –Kona, Hawaii
Depart for the Big Island. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to the Royal Kona Resort for five nights. Tonight meet with Dr. Alex Filippenko and Dave Eicher at a welcome reception.

Sunday, June 3, 2012 –Hawaii
Astronomical lectures today in preparation to the Keck Observatory visit. This afternoon enjoy the island amenities before a sunset sail out into the Pacific for a dinner cruise.

Monday, June 4, 2012 Mauna Kea and Keck Observatory
In mid-morning we will head to the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station on Mauna Kea, where we will eat lunch as well as examine the exhibits and the gift shop while acclimatizing. After lunch we will ascend to the summit of Mauna Kea, which is nearly 14,000' altitude. While at the top we will have access inside Keck Observatory's visitor's gallery and be able to view the Keck I telescope through the dome cage. Dr. Alex Filippenko and Dave Eicher will be on hand to offer their astro guidance to learn how it is used to conduct cutting-edge astronomical studies. Each of the twin Keck 10 meter telescopes, the world’s largest optical telescopes, has 4 times the light-gathering power of the Palomar Hale telescope and 16 times that of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 Transit of Venus
Preparations are made today for the Transit of Venus in the western afternoon sky. The transit is set for a longer duration than 2004 of more than six hours as it crosses the Sun’s disk between the Sun’s center and its limb. This time the black drop will cross in the northern half of the Sun. The Big Island of Hawaii is the most eastern location from which the entire transit will be visible; in the continental United States, east of Hawaii only part of the transit will be visible before the Sun sets.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 Hawaii
You have choices today to Hilo, the orchid gardens or hike into Hawaii’s pristine wilderness. Enjoy a traditional island luau with all the trimmings tonight under the stars.

Thursday, June 7, 2012 Hawaii
Transfer to the airport for your homeward flight or extend your stay on one of Hawaii’s paradise isles.