Are You Ready for the Transit of Venus This Tuesday?

by Feeds of Today

“This Tuesday is probably the only chance in your lifetime to see Venus pass between the sun and the Earth, one of the rarest, cyclical, astronomical events. During this transit, Venus will appear as a small dot against the face of the sun for about 6 and a half hours.

Just how rare is the Transit of Venus? There has only been one other occurence in the last 100 years and after Tuesday, the next one won’t happen again until 2117. Transits of the planet Mercury are more common, the next one occurs in 2016, but that planet is so small that it’s nearly invisible, not that you would want to be looking.

Like a solar eclipse, it’s not safe to view the Transit of Venus with the naked eye, or even sunglasses. You either need specially made eye shades, a telescope with a solar filter mounted on the end, or Number 14 (NO.14) welder’s glass, which is extremely dark, or you can use a telescope to project the transit onto a piece of paper – that’s how the earliest know observer of the phenomena, Jeremiah Horrocks, viewed the transit in 1639.”

sources:

Transit Of Venus: Rare Planetary Event (Yahoo!)

Next Up: The Transit of Venus (citizenscientistsleague.com)

Venus Chases of the 18th Century (LA Times)

Rare Alignment for Venus (Boston.com)

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