Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tues - Rare Transit of Venus

A very rare celestial occurance will happen today, June 5th, when Venus passes directly between the sun and earth. Much like an eclipse, you can't look right at the sun and see it, but if you take the proper precations such as the easy ones shown in the links, you'll see Venus as a small dot making its way across the sun - a journey of approx 6 hrs for North American viewers. The event will start at 6:04 pm EDT which is 4:04 pm MDT as well as here in Saskatchewan where we are on the same time as MDT.

Check out these Transit of Venus links:

-This link is to the Transit of Venus website which will tell you everything you need to know about this rare event and explain why you should watch it.

- This link is a fun video that explains it very briefly and with images you'll remember more than if you only read the text. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/video/transit-venus-last-chance-see-205025645.html

- If you're worried about your eyes or can't see the actual event due to clouds, etc, don't despair. Nasa is showing a live web broadcast of the event starting at 5:45pm EDT at http://venustransit.nasa.gov/transitofvenus/

And for all those amateur astronomers, there is now  free Transit of Venus phone app, which will allow you to send your observations of the 2012 Transit of Venus to a global experiment to measure the size of the solar system. This is not as far-fetched as it sounds because the links above will show how this event enabled astronomers to measure the solar system in the first place.

The phone app is spearheaded by the non-profit Astronomers Without Borders, and they invite you to join them as a supporter and a participant. More information about the phone app can be found in the left hand column of the Transit of Venus website.

If you watch the Transit of Venus, either outside or live on the web, or if you download the phone app, come back here after and let me know the details and I'll tell you what I experienced.

Image of Transit of Venus courtesy of www.space.com

Have fun and most of all, take care of your eyes.


  1. ooo, this sounds cool Anita. I will have to try the web version and see if Guppy gets interested. Thanks for posting about this.

  2. Hey Deb, I'm adding a post of my results now. :)


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