Observe the Venus Transit – A Once in a Lifetime Event!
May 1, 2012 Leave a comment
You may be wondering, “What is the Venus Transit?”
When Venus passes directly between the earth and the sun, we see the distant planet as a small dot gliding slowly across the face of the sun. This comes in pairs that are eight years apart but separated by over a century. This rare alignment won’t occur again until the year 2117, truly making this a once in a lifetime occurrence. This event was also used to measure the size of our solar system back in history.
When is it?
Your location will determine if and when you can see the Venus transit. For North America, the beginning of the transit occurs during the afternoon through the evening on June 5th. For Europe/Asia, viewers can see the end of the transit in the morning of June 6th. Click here for local transit times or view this PDF from NASA detailing the visibility world wide.
How to safely view the event
There are multiple ways to protect your eyes while looking at the sun through a telescope. We are going to cover the cheapest way using rear-projection screen material to build a sun funnel.
The main component to building this sun funnel is the Da-Lite High Contrast Da-Tex rear-projection screen material. The sun funnel with Da-Tex enables a large group of people to observe the Venus transit at the same time by projecting the image in detail on to the piece of screen material. This means there is no one looking through the eyepiece, no refocusing, and most importantly, it’s safe!
Now that you know the basics of what you will need to observe this epic event, head on over to Big Screen Center and grab yourself a square foot of the Da-Lite rear-projection screen material and build your own sun funnel using Rick’s guide above!