Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Transit of Venus, June 6 2012

My image of the 2004 Transit of Venus, taken with a Pentax K SLR and actual film. 

It's two weeks now until the Transit of Venus, the last one we will see until 2117. The rare transits of Venus occur when Venus passes directly between us and the Sun.

This occurs roughly ever 100 years or so, then there are two in quick succession, eight years apart.

The last was in June 2004, you can see my images from that transit here.  The next starts just after sunrise on Wednesday June 6 (in Australia and New Zealand). June 5 in other parts of the world)

Safe solar projection rig for observing the sun with binoculars. Note that this is for projecting an image onto a card or a wall (I was using a wall here). NEVER look though the eyepiece of a projection system pointed in the vicinity of the Sun. See here for step by step details of making a binocular projection system, showing projection onto a surface. 

The transit can be viewed without fancy equipment, using safe solar projection techniques. If you are at work, you can pop out and view it at lunchtime with simple, portable kit.

The best views will be with with telescopes, but you don't need lots of money to watch this once in a life time event.

I have set up a webpage for this years transit of Venus. It has timings of when the transit starts and ends for various Australian cities, viewing tips, and links to webcasts, public viewing and more information. I've also added it to the links on the side of the blog. I will be also adding more details of actually constructing some of these projection systems.

So go and have a read, and start preparing for the transit!

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