BY | June 1, 2012

Transit of Venus 2012 is round the corner. You should never miss it. Here are a few tips for safe watching this rare celestial event

Transit of Venus 2012 is coming close. There is an extremely interesting astronomical phenomenon for space enthusiasts next week. The world is anxiously awaiting the next week’s Transit of Venus, which will start off at 6:04 p.m. ET on Tuesday in the U.S. In other countries, the Transit of Venus, one of the rarest astronomical phenomena, will be visible in some other time over 5 to 6, June.

Sky enthusiasts should never miss the Transit of Venus, which is a rare celestial event will only happen next on December 11, 2117, when most of us will be no more.  The Transit of Venus occurs when Venus, the second closest planet to the Sun, moves between the Sun and the Earth. This transit will be visible from the earth as a black dot across the face of the Sun. It will be a striking view to see the sun moving across the yellow sun. That is why the event gets that much attract. “A transit of Venus across the Sun takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth, becoming visible against the solar disk. During a transit, Venus can be seen from Earth as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun,” says Wikipedia.

Unlike a solar eclipse, a transit brings a small black dot on the face of Sun. In case of solar eclipse, the sun gets completely superimposed. According to Arvind Paranjpye, director of Nehru Planetarium in Mumbai, the Transit of Venus happens when a pair of astronomical bodies come together one straight line similar to a solar eclipse.

But “in a solar eclipse, the apparent size of the moon is much larger than that of the sun. This causes the sun to be completely blocked by the moon. In case of a transit, the apparent size of the object coming between the observer and the object in the background is much smaller,” Paranjpye says.

Experts warn sky-watchers to use filters, binoculars or any other tools to shield the eyes. Looking straight at the sun will injure your eyes. It may even cause permanent blindness in a matter of minutes. With annular solar eclipse taking place on May 20, many people will have filters or other tools for watching the sky with complete protection for eyes. Due to the high profile eclipse, there is a huge shortage of sun-viewing glasses in stores, says David Aguilar with the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass.

Specialists suggest sky watchers to use a pair of binoculars to project the sun during the transit. The onlooker, however, should take enough care in observing the celestial event. Another safest option is to develop an own pinhole projector using discarded cardboard boxes, tapes, scissors and pins. For preparing this, you can find various tutorials on web. According to Ben Burress, a Chabot Space and Science Center astronomer, the best thing is to watch the event from an astronomy club or science museum, which has sophisticated technologies to watch the sky.

Anyway, the rare celestial event, which takes place only four times in 250 years, it will be a great enjoyment for watching. If you love watching the sky, you should not miss the event next week. Find your own time to have a view of the Transit of Venus, which will last for several hours. Hence, everyone will get enough time to watch the event at least partially. However, it should be an awesome experience to watch it completely.

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  • Anwar uz Zaman

    Will any kindhearted person inform, whether this event can be viewed from Dhaka,Bangladesh? If yes, on what date and about what time ?
    would’nt like to miss one of a lifetime opportunity.

  • dorothy

    wikipedia has a map and indicates that india will be able to view the eclipse on 6/6