Transit of Venus

Transit of Venus taken in 2004. Credit

Today, June 5, 2012 astronomy minded folks will be able to observe a site that we here on Earth won’t have the ability to see again until December 2117. During the transit, Venus will appear to cross right in front of the sun. To those using telescopes and other protected viewing equipment, Venus will look like a tiny black dot in front of the glowing disk of the sun. That tiny dot will move over the course of several hours (about six), across the face of the sun, observable by viewers on almost all parts of the globe. For a sneak preview, check out the image to the left taken back in 2004 during the last Venus transit.

NASA has several sites up with background information on what the transit of Venus is and how to view it. Here’s one with a nice science@nasa movie describing what all the fuss is about. The safest way to view the transit would probably be to do so online. NASA plans to host a live question and answer chat session and stream a live video feed of the transit. You can find the chat and video feeds here.

NEVER look directly at the sun, even to see something cool. ALWAYS use some sort of protective shielding, or just avoid looking at all and head on over to your computer screen and let NASA stream the video to you.

You can check out the transit times for your local observation location from the transit of This site, sponsored by the app developer DDQ in the Netherlands, has a ton of information about the transit, including a free iPhone app.

I am super excited for this opportunity and hope I can get home early enough so that the kids and I can gather around Dad’s computer to watch Venus take her walk.

Enjoy fellow stargazers.


Post publish update

Here are some more sites with good info on the transit


Bad Astronomy’s Blog

About rocketsciencemom
I am a rocket scientist in my day job, and a mother of two all the time. I'm a pop culture addict and amateur artist in my spare time. My typical preferences tend toward sci-fi and fantasy genres but I love a good drama or comedy. Reading the blogs of fellow Lost fans over the years has motivated me to finally write my own. All drawings and images on this blog are property of RocketScienceMom

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