I wanted to give you all a heads up on an upcoming astronomy event. On the 5th of June (Universal Time) or the 6th of June (Australian Time) the planet Venus will make a historical transit across the face of The Sun. This is a rare event and only 7 transits have been observed in all of human history. The last transit was just 8 years ago, but the next one will not occur until the 11th of December 2117. No that is not a typo. So unless you plan to live for another 105 and a half years this is a last chance in a lifetime event. I want to share some links to help you a) work out if it will be visible from your area, and b) if it is- how to observe it safely or, if not visible- where you can view it on-line.
I will update this journal as I find more helpful links leading up to the event.
WARNING: NEVER OBSERVE THE SUN WITH THE NAKED EYE OR THROUGH A TELESCOPE, CAMERA OR OTHER OPTICAL DEVICE UNLESS YOU HAVE A PROPER SOLAR FILTER AND KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING.[link]
- This is an excellent write up on the whole event by a fellow Australian. It will tell you everything you need to know about the event and how to safely observe it. It is a little Australian specific in parts but applies to all parts of the world in terms of observing the event.[link]
- Sky and Telescope online article on the event. Covering everything from when and where, through to safely observing and photographing the event.[link]
- Drag the marker to your location to find out your local time for the event.[link]
- World map giving a quick glance view of the visibility of the transit.[link]
- Watch a live stream of the transit on the day/night.[link]
- Transit Of Venus Homepage full of useful resources[link]
- Another live stream of the transit event.[link]
- Hydrogen Alpha monitoring website. This is a great page to see what is happening on the sun anytime of the day or night. You can select movies of recent images or just view the latest solar image. If you are unlucky to be in a part of the world where thie transit is not visable then this could be a good site to see some images from it as they come in in real time.[link]
- YouTube vid showing how to safely project an image of the sun onto a surface using binoculars.[link]
- Another YouTube vid showing how to safely indirectly observe the sun, using pinhole projection or binocular projection onto a surface.
Want to use eclipse glasses to view this event? Do this test first- Draw a black dot on a white sheet of paper exactly 2mm in diameter. In good light place the sheet of paper 7 meters away. Can you see the dot??? Your eyesight will need to be that good to see Venus using eclipse glasses
A TIMELY WARNING: A week or two ago when the annular solar eclipse was on, a photographer friend of mine in the US was doing some solar shots with his DSLR and telephoto lens fitted with a proper solar filter. But what he didn't do, is make sure that the solar filter was properly secured to the lens. As he was looking through the viewfinder the solar filter blew off with a gust of wind. Several trips to doctors and ophthalmologists later the jury is currently still out on whether or not he has suffered permanent eye damage. So I'll say it again..............
WARNING: NEVER DIRECTLY OBSERVE THE SUN WITH THE NAKED EYE OR THROUGH A TELESCOPE, CAMERA OR OTHER OPTICAL DEVICE UNLESS YOU HAVE A PROPER SOLAR FILTER SECURELY FITTED AND KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
As I said I will add to this list as I find good links. There will be numerous live web streams of the event I'm sure but if you can please try and view it for yourself. Keep an eye out for local events in your area. There should be numerous public viewing areas setup across the globe.
I am not going to miss this event. I did not see the 2004 transit. I will be taking the whole week off to allow me travelling time if the weather forecast is not looking good for my home. I will be imaging the whole event in Hydrogen Alpha light through my Coronado PST (Personal Solar Telescope) and I will also have another telescope with a white light filter fitted to do some visual observing of the event at the same time.
I'll once again leave with a bit of shameless self promotion.....
Do you like taking shots of lightning or the night sky? Please join
Do you like taking high quality portrait or nature photos? Please join
Follow me on 500px [link]
Follow me on Google+ [link]