Sunday, June 3, 2012

Venus Transit

Get out your solar glasses.  It's time for another astronomical event involving the Sun!

This Tuesday, June 5, in the afternoon pacific time, Venus will cut directly between us and the Sun.  Just like two weeks ago when the Moon passed in front of the Sun, but instead, this time, it will be the silhouette of Venus that we will see passing across the face of the Sun.  Even though Venus is 3.5 times the larger than the Moon in diameter, because Venus is so much farther away, the silhouette it casts on the Sun will be much smaller.  It is worth your while to catch this event, because its not scheduled to happen again until for another 117 years.  Because of the celestial mechanics involved, the particular event happens twice in rapid succession every 120 years.  The last transit was in 2004.


Here at Digital Diner, the transit will start at 3:06pm and continue to 9:47pm (well after sunset).   The nearly full moon will be rising about an hour later. To find out the exact times of the transit at your location, check out the cool tool here.  It creates a view like the one below which animates the curved path of Venus across the Sun.  The tool requires Flash - sorry iPhone and iPad viewers.  This tool gives similar information.

Please install latest Flash Player to run SunAeon Venus Transit 2012

If you can't make it outside to see it yourself, you can still join in the festivities by watching a live webcast from some of the world's top observatories.  Check them out here

There are plenty more resources for this even out on the web.  Here are a few good ones:
A Great Site Dedicated to the Venus Transit.  More info than you can shake a stick at!
This site includes Info About the Transit Path at Your Location
Sky and Telescope - Your Viewing Guide to the Transit of Venus.
Science.NASA,gov - Venus Transit Info. - Venus Crosses the Sun
A Guide to Safely Viewing the Upcoming Transit

Safe Viewing!

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