On June 5, 2012 the planet Venus will pass in front of the sun as seen from Earth. This is called a transit, and it will be your last chance to see one with Venus for over a hundred years! If you have a scope with proper filters, that’s great, be sure to share with neighbors, friends and family. If you do not have the proper equipment, then you should find a friend or astronomy club near you that does. The NSN widget which is located in the sidebar to the left can help you find a club in your area, they will have upcoming events listed on their individual calendars.
However, as most seasoned astronomers know, having the best equipment is only part of the problem. The weather is always a factor, and sometimes it does not seem to play fair. I found an interesting site that may just offer a solution to this problem, and for those unable to get out and attend a public event. The Columbus State University’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center has partnered with NASA and the International Space School Education Trust to provide a multiple continent webcast of the 2012 Transit of Venus!
You’re not going to want to miss this!
IMPORTANT NOTICE – Looking directly at the Sun with unprotected eyes, telescopes or binoculars can result in permanent eye damage. For safe viewing tips you may find this webpage useful. Observing the Sun — Safely
EVENT UPDATE – June 6th 2012
The weather may not have been perfect, but it did cooperate enough to give between 30 and 35 people a rare opportunity to see Venus transit the face of the Sun out on Shepherd Road in Iredell County, said ASRC President Alice Deal. Several telescopes, and even a huge pair of binoculars equipped with proper filters were available to safely view the event.
Meanwhile, in northwestern Rowan County, veteran amateur astronomer Tom Davis actually glimpsed the Venusian atmosphere as sunlight refracted around the planets rim.
In southeastern Rowan County, photographer and amateur astronomer Nathan Bollinger took several excellent pictures using the projection method. You can readily see how he accomplished this, and see a few of the resulting images in the accompanying photos published here with his permission.
(Click images to enlarge, and start slideshow.)