Weather threatens Venus view
Tue, 05 Jun 2012 6:08p.m.
By Tom McRae
The bad weather is worrying star-gazers who have travelled here from around the world to view something they will never have the chance to see again: the transit of Venus takes place tomorrow and it will not happen again for another 105 years.
And 243 years after Captain Cook first landed at Tologa Bay in 1769 astronomers are arriving there to witness the rare event of the transit of Venus.
But seeing the transit relies heavily on the weather – if you cannot see the sun then you cannot see the transit, and unfortunately the outlook for tomorrow does not look promising.
The community though, is using the transit to bring change to the area.
“Witnessing the spectacle is as much about looking at a little black dot go across the sun as it is about planting trees at the mouth of the river, as it is about the educational achievement of our children, as it is about having a good time and inviting the world to share that with us,” says Wayne Ngata of the Tologa Bay Steering Committee.
And the bay’s iconic wharf has had a $5.5 million upgrade.
“This project has been part of the evolution of the whole area and we are actually marking this day as a time to look back on our duel heritage and to look forward to our shared future,” says Clive Bibby, Fund the Wharf funding director.
And the local school is the focal point of that future – they are rehearsing a play about the transit to be performed tomorrow.
“This is a place we want to be, this is a place where talent wants to be and does live, and this is a place that needs to develop that talent so it stays here and benefits the place,” says Mr Ngata.
It was the late Sir Paul Callahan's idea to bring the world to Tologa Bay to watch the transit - the scientist hoped it would push the boundaries of our thinking.
“We want to both ground and inspire thinking about our potential for innovation and to give some direction for the next generation on the way ahead,” Sir Paul Callahan said last year.
And come rain or shine the people of Tologa Bay will be celebrating their future either way.
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