Getting Ready for the Transit of Venus

With the Transit of Venus coming in a few short weeks, there’s not a lot of time to get ready.  You really do need to prepare for this. The day of the Transit will be a lousy time to find out you’ve forgotten something.

Transit of Venus 2012 Chart

Chart courtesy

If you’re going to an organized event, your preparation might be as simple as finding out where the event will be. For people in the Ottawa area the Canada Science and Technology Museum will be running a comprehensive event, open to all. The details should be publicized very soon.

To observe the Transit of Venus yourself, you’ll have to do a bit more preparation.

At the top of the list: make sure you know how to observe the the Sun. There are excellent resources to help you with this.  Your first stop should be Dr. Ralph Chou’s article on eye safety.  Once you’re up on how to observe the Sun safely, Chuck Bueter’s Six Ways to See the Transit  is a great review of observing methods. You’ll find plenty of other tips on the Transit of Venus Project website.

Weather is always a bugaboo for astronomers.  There’s always a chance that the sky will be socked in for the Transit.  The NASA Sun-Earth Day folks will be webcasting the Transit of Venus live from Mauna Kea in Hawaii. It wouldn’t be as cool as seeing the Transit in person, but better than staring up a gray overcast and grumbling.

There’s one last point to remember. Don’t get overwhelmed by recording, photographing, interpreting,  or whatever you have planned. Give yourself a chance to really experience the Transit of Venus. It’s a rare event — take the opportunity to enjoy it.


About Tim Cole

Astronomy enthusiast and educator, all-around fancier of dark skies and starry nights
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One Response to Getting Ready for the Transit of Venus

  1. Pingback: Showing the Sun to the Public | Sidereal Moments

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