Monday, June 4, 2012

What You Should Know About Tomorrow's Transit of Venus

by Julia Buckley

By now you've certainly heard of the Transit of Venus, which will be viewable tomorrow, June 5, "around 6:04 p.m. EDT until sunset."  It will be the last Transit of Venus in our lifetimes.

Venus will pass directly between the earth and the sun, and it will be visible (as pictured on Wikipedia, at left) as a small black dot on the sun.  You can check out some interesting historical facts about previous transits at the Transit of Venus website.

Here are some interesting selected facts about the Transit of Venus on Tuesday, June 5th:

--You can see a live broadcast of the event (which will last about six hours) at  Check out this amazing space camera for a calendar of viewing in your area.

--You can check out the memoir of Jeremiah Horrocks, the twenty-one-year-old English minister who predicted the Transit of Venus in 1639 in Hoole, England, here.

--There are several theories about the "Black Drop Effect"--that is, that when the planet Venus reaches the edge of the sun, it appears to elongate.  You can read about them here.

--For six safe ways to view the transit, click here.

--For Transit of Venus merchandise, shop here.

--For some neat cultural connections, including a Transit of Venus soundtrack, check out this page.

--Why are transits of Venus so rare?  Find the answer here.

Whether you watch the event online, through the safety of an appropriate viewing apparatus, or on the news after the event, you will surely appreciate this rare and wonderful happening in the solar system, one of the few viewable with the naked eye (sort of).

Enjoy the moment!


Mito Sadlon said...

here is simulation on how you can see transit from your perspective

Julia Buckley said...

Thanks, Mito!

Sheila Connolly said...

What I do know is that it's probably going to be raining here. Looks like the live broadcast is my best bet.

LD Masterson said...

How did I manage to not be aware of this? This will be worth watching Thank you.

Julia Buckley said...

No problem, LD! I actually learned about it on good ol' Facebook.

Sheila, that's a bummer--although even if it's sunny here, I don't really have a plan in place for looking at it. I might have my boys attempt the viewer. :)