CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – Here in the Carolinas, we missed out on May’s “ring of fire” annular solar eclipse. This time, we’re not being left out. The transit of Venus across the sun takes place on June 5, when the planet will cross the sun from Earth’s pe
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – Here in the Carolinas, we missed out on May's "ring of fire" annular solar eclipse. This time, we're not being left out.
The transit of Venus across the sun takes place on June 5, when the planet will cross the sun from Earth's perspective, appearing as a small, black dot over the sun.
Unlike the eclipse, this celestial event can be seen from all seven continents. That is, if we can get some sun.
We won't see the entire transit. The seven-hour long event will be seen in its entirety in eastern Asia, Australia, and the Western Pacific, but if the weather cooperates, we will see a small black dot track across the sun.
That said, our time frame for viewing the transit may be rather limited. A warm front will move through the area, bringing showers and possibly thunderstorms. A few breaks in the clouds may allow for a quick view. If you do catch a break from the cloud cover, remember that you NEVER want to look directly at the sun. It can result in serious eye damage, including blindness.
To safely observe the transit, you can buy special solar filters that fit over your telescope or binoculars, or No. 14 welder's glass that can be worn over your eyes.
Better yet, remember the solar projection method you learned in school? It's tried and true, and it's easy. Simply take a pair of binoculars and put the lens cap over one side. Point them towards the sun, just don't look into them yet, and hold a piece of white cardboard about a foot behind the eyepiece. It will take some maneuvering, but once you find the sun on the cardboard, you can focus the binoculars to sharpen the sun's image. You'll be able to see the dot of Venus across the sun's face.