By now, you may have heard about the "Venus transit" coming up on Tuesday June 5th. And also by now, you may have wondered... "what on earth is that?". Let me enlighten you! The Venus transit is the same as an eclipse! If you remember just a couple of weeks back, there was a solar eclipse that occurred, where the moon crossed in front of our view of the sun, causing much of the sun to be blocked out for a brief period of time. VWell, the planet Venus orbits closer to the Sun than Earth does. Sometimes Venus passes between Earth and the Sun. when things are lined up just right, we can see Venus as a small black dot moving across the face of the Sun. It almost looks like a beauty mark ;)
It happened in 2004, and here's what it looked like (the little black dot)...
Here's a closer view!
Unlike in 2004, this year's transit will happen on the northern side of the Sun.
Please note: It can be seen ONLY WITH SPECIAL SOLAR VIEWING GLASSES (which you can get from a camera store or online. Welding goggles will also work). I reiterate, you should NEVER look directly into the sun as it can cause permanent damage to your vision!
That said, you may not have a chance to see this very rare event :( The forecast doesn't look promising for our area with ample cloud cover in the forecast for Tuesday afternoon and early evening. Updating this at 5:50pm Tuesday, there are a few breaks in the cloud cover for northern NY, northwestern VT, and for much of southern Quebec, so there is some hope. Click here for your full Sky Tracker weather forecast page.
If we get lucky with the forecast, the transit should be visible after 6pm through sunset.
Fret not, my friends. While we probably will not luck out with the forecast, there is still hope! There are several web sites that will live stream the event. I would recommend THIS page (click) from the Mauna Loa Exploratorium in Hawaii BEGINNING at 5:45pm EST.
Happy viewing! The event will not happen again in our lifetime. The next Venus transit will be in the year 2117! Click here for an explanation as to why.
For local gatherings, visit: