Venus to Block a Small Part of the Sun
Watch the Transit of Venus 2012 Tuesday evening. It last happened in 2004, but it won't happen again until 2117.
Venus will pass between earth and the sun Tuesday night a little after 6 p.m.
It last happened in 2004, but it won't happen again until 2117.
Assuming sufficiently clear skies, the transit will be visible for us starting at about 6:04 p.m. and will remain so until the sun sets. In Philadelphia, residents can take in the view at home or check out a regional viewing spot.
How to Watch
Never look directly at the sun with your naked eyes. You can damage your eyes. Likewise, viewing the sun with either binoculars or a telescope can direct the sun's magnified rays directly into your eyeball and cause serious injury―think about what happens to ants under a magnifying glass.
Sunglasses do not provide sufficient protection. If you know someone who works in plumbing or construction, ask them if they have any #14 welder's glass. You can look directly at the sun through this material without risking injury.
Located at the top of the Ridge, Gorgas Park in Roxborough should provide some good views of the event.
Regional Places to Watch
Although the event at the Franklin Institute is already sold out, residents can check out some of these nearby places.
The Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomers and the Upper Merion Township Library are each offering viewing events in Montgomery County.
- Colonial Middle School, 716 Belvoir Road, Plymouth Meeting. Go to the rear of the school, near the ballfield.
- IMAX United Artist Movie Theater, 300 Goddard Blvd, King of Prussia. Go to the parking lot west of the theater.
Though it's not quite the same as viewing the phenomenon in person, there are several places to watch the transit of Venus online:
- The Slooh Space Camera will offer an 8-hour webcast of the transit that includes real-time video feeds from 10 telescopes around the world.
- Astronomers Without Borders will carry a video stream of the transit from the Mount Wilson Observatory in California.
- NASA will offer a live video feed from Mauna Kea observatory in Hawaiiwith expert commentary.
- The San Francisco Exploratorium will host an online video stream from the Mauna Loa telescope in Hawaii.
Lastly, there's Don Pettit, an astronaut currently aboard the International Space Station. Pettit's not doing a video feed, but he will become the first person to ever photograph a transit of Venus from outer space.
Do you plan to watch? Are you excited about this once in a lifetime event? Tell us in the comments.