Tuesday, June 5, 2012

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Tonight- The Transit of Venus June 5, 2012

The 2004 Venus transit as seen by the
Solar and Helospheric Observatory (SOHO).
             Don't miss tonight's historic event. In New England the transit will begin with Venus making first contact into view of the Sun at about 6pm. The Second contact will be visible about 20 minutes later showing the black spot/drop effect. The transits occur when the Sun, Earth, and Venus all line up from our vantage point, when Venus moves it looks like a tiny black spot moving across the bright sun. The transit should be visible until sunset, weather permitting. 
       Most importantly please remember to observe the transit safely: with eclipse shades or watching it on the internet (see links at end of post). Do not use binoculars or sunglasses, you can still damage your eyes. 
       I have attached some more information about the Transit of Venus including some links that may be helpful. Your local observatory, planetarium, astronomy club may be also holing  viewings tonight. 

Let me know if you are planning on watching it or what your thoughts are after you experienced the transit of the Venus. 

Article taken from NASA's website 

       Transit of Venus On June 5, 2012 at sunset on the East Coast of North America and earlier for other parts of the U.S., the planet Venus will make its final trek across the face of the sun as seen from Earth until the year 2117. The last time this event occurred was on June 8, 2004 when it was watched by millions of people across the world. Get prepared for this once in a lifetime event! 
       For over 100 years the main quest of astronomers was to pin down the distance between Earth and Sun (the Astronomical Unit), which would give them a key to the size of the solar system. Careful studies of the transit of Venus became the gold mine they would harvest to reveal this measure.
  • Live Webcast from Mauna Kea, Hawaii On June 5, 2012, we will air a live 'remote' webcast from a mountainside Visitors Station site near the observatories in Hilo, Hawaii. This location will give a wonderful view of the entire transit with little chance of cloud cover to a worldwide audience. More Webcast Information
  • Safe Viewing Techniques You can experience the transit of Venus safely, but it is vital that you protect your eyes at all times with the proper solar filters. Learn More About Safe Solar Viewing
The primary Sun-Earth Day webcast is being hosted by NASA EDGE in Mauna Kea, Hawaii. This webcast event will run through the entirety of the transit of venus, beginning at 9:45pm UTC (11:45am local Hawaiian time or 5:45pm EST). You can view NASA EDGE's webcast by clicking on the NASA Edge Logo.

Photo Credit: 
taken from http://news.discovery.com/space/zooms/venus-transit-2012-120530.html 
The 2004 Venus transit as seen by the Solar and Helospheric Observatory (SOHO).  
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