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Monday, Jan. 16, 2017

Visitors to Grand Gulf get to see transit of Venus

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Doug Rusk and volunteers, Jacob and Justin, show the guests what to expect when looking for the Transit of Venus. Photo by Kim Bray [Order this photo]
Grand Gulf State Park in Thayer, Mo invited the public to an open house event on June , 5 -- a big day for a rare astrological event. Representatives from the park had telescopes available for the public to view the Transit of Venus, which occurs when Venus moves across the face of the sun. The Transit of Venus does not happen again until 2119, so it was a once in a lifetime event.

Missouri State Representative, Steve Cookson welcomed the public to Grand Gulf saying, "The state park has done a great job maintaining this park, as well as making it accessible to the public." Cookson serves on the House natural resource and tourism committees. He said, "I applaud the efforts of the state park system for putting on programs like this."

State park representative, Doug Rusk, was grateful to all guests for attending the open house. He spoke about the public's interest in the park and about its upkeep. A program that the Grand Gulf State Park has used for the past couple of years is the State Park Youth Core. Rusk gave credit to the Youth Core for helping maintain and building trails in the park, to keep the park in good shape. "We're here to make sure you guys can come out and enjoy the park," said Rusk.

The specific reason for this open house was to view the Transit of Venus. Rusk informed the guests that the first time the movement of Venus was discovered was in 1635. This was a historical event, as the next Transit of Venus will be in 105 years.

With the help of park workers, visitors used the telescopes and eclipse viewers to view the historical event. Several of the guests had questions about the Transit of Venus, and were excited about the opportunity to view this from the Grand Gulf State Park, which is, in itself, a unique facility.

Grand Gulf State Park is located six miles west of Thayer on Highway W. For more information, call (417) 264-7600 or visit www.mostateparks.com.

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