The Window of Oportunity to visit Venus is rapidly diminishing! Populär Astronomi reports that Observatoriemuseet, The Stockholm Observatory Museum will close down by the end of the year and no longer be accessible to the public. The Observatory is home to the Venus model of the Sweden Solar system and it is yet unclear what will happen to it. In addition to the exhibition that tells the story of observations in the faclilities dating back to the 18th century, the museum has hosted a series of lectures, available to the public on various scientific subjects. Both the exhibition and the lectures will be sorely missed.
In ”The Planets” challenge the Expedition sets out to explore the planets of the solar system. The plan is to explore the Moonhouse on the planets in visual representations, physically in the Sweden Solar System and, finally, in situ on the actual planets. The Sweden Solar System (SSS) is the worlds largest planetarium stretching over the length of Sweden with The Ericsson Globe Area as a scale model of the Sun and the Terminator Shock in Kiruna.
A part of the execution of this plan is to survey the SSS and it was when surveying the planets i Stockholm that the planet Venus was found missing from its named location at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). An enquirey into the mystery revealed that the model had acutually been stolen. According to Gösta Gahm, retired but active astronomer, it is possible that the model (image below) was assumed to be made from copper and stolen for is metal value. The model was in fact made from clay, which would likely have made the thieves very dissapointed, as the value of clay is significanlty less than that of copper. At that time, the expedition was relieved to find out that there was actually an over population of Venuses in SSS with a second model residing at the Observatory Museum.
With Venus becoming inaccessible at the end of the year, be sure to expect a Moonhouse expedition heading this way shortly.