UNT Team Chasing Venus Transit

UNT team plans a twist on 1769 expedition

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    A University of North Texas team plans to chase Venus from Alaska and Hawaii on Tuesday during the planet's rare transit across the sun.

    It's a modern-day twist on a 1769 expedition by British Capt. James Cook and others in three different locations who set out to document the transit and try to calculate the earth's distance from the sun, based on a formula devised decades earlier by astronomer Edmond Halley.

    In Alaska, the UNT team led by astronomy program director Ron DiIulio plans to track the transit from Homer -- not with grandfather clocks used in Cook's day, but with high-tech telescopes, atomic clocks and cameras including one equipped with a global positioning unit.

    The endeavor is among scores of Venus events planned around the world.