Tuesday, May 29, 2012

transit of venus

get ready for an event that won't happen again for over 100 years!   on june 5th (or 6th, if youre in australasia), venus will pass directly in front of the sun, from our perspective on earth, in a phenomenon we call a transit

the good news is that the several-hour event will be visible to most places on earth!

Credit:  NASA
there is no bad news, really, except that you cannot look directly at the event without some sort of eye protection!   if you have no solar filter for your telescope or solar viewing glasses, there are still many ways you can view the transit safely.  try projecting the sun's image thru binoculars or making a simple pinhole camera by poking a hole in paper and projecting the image!   you'll see the dark silouette of venus slowly move across the sun using these techniques! 

you can read lots of information at this website: http://www.transitofvenus.org/ or from NASA.

since photographic instrumentation has improved since the last transit of venus in 2004, i'm expecting some spectacular photos to result from this event.   but really, there's no substitute for timing, as demonstrated by this incredible photo from 2004 by tomas maruska, who captured venus and the international space station simultaneously passing in front of the sun!

anyway, enjoy the event, keep your eyes safe, and share any photos you take!


Andy Callaway said...

I take it you're familiar with the Australian connection to this event, since you now live in this part of the world.
If not, I'll leave you to ponder...

heroineworshipper said...

Upload some more portaits before we go blind from all these sun observations & can't worship you anymore.

Invader Xan said...

Are you planning on any further trickery with black and white camera film this time...? :)