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When, where and how can you observe the transit of Venus?

Warning

Observing a transit of any object in front of the Sun, or a solar eclipse, with the naked eye, or with an instrument, can be very dangerous and can cause permenent damage to the eye.

Dr. Sanjay Limaye shares with us the precautions that should be taken:


Opaque glass or photographic film are not enough to protect your eyes from the radiation emitted by the Sun. Indirect observation by projecting an image of the Sun is safe, however. So, just like J. Horrocks in 1639, try projecting the Sun's light on a sheet of paper using a telescope.

 

Where on Earth will the transit be observable?

visibility2012

The situation is not ideal in Belgium. As the table below shows, Venus will be visible from Sunrise (05h38) to the end of the transit (06h55):

Transit of Venus in Belgium
Latitude 50° 30' 13''.0 N
Longitude 4° 28' 11''.8 E
Contact Time
First contact 00:03:55
Second contact 00:21:34
Mid-point of transit 03:29:57
Third contact 06:37:29
Fourth contact 06:55:00
Sunrise 05:36:29

If you will not be in Belgium 5-6 June 2012, you can consult this site. This will give you more details on where and when the Venus transit will be visible.

 

How should one observe the transit?

In Belgium, we advise you to find a location with a clear view of the horizon in the ENE, which is where the Sun rises in June.

For the greatest chance of a succesful observation, we would recommend you benefit from the knowledge of Belgianastronomy clubs. We have contacted them on your behalf and they would be thrilled to have you join them!

 

If you have any questions, click here.

 

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