Sunday, June 3, 2012

Transit of Venus Across the Sun - Wednesday, 6 June, 2012

On 6 June, 2012 as Venus leaves the evening sky to enter the morning sky, this brightest of planets will pass right in front of the sun, to stage one of the rarest of predictable astronomical phenomena that is the transit of Venus across the sun’s face. Planet Venus will passes directly between the Sun and the Earth, becoming visible against solar disk. During the transit, Venus can be seen from the Earth as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun. In Malaysia, this phenomena will begin to occur when the Sun rises and ends at 12:50 pm. The last Venus transit took place on 8 June 2004. 

All Malaysian will be able to observe Venus transit at sunrise until transit ends at 12:50 pm. The transit begins with its first contact (contact I) at 06:09:29 am, reach the maximum phase at 09:29:28 am and finally the transit ends at contact IV at 12:49:57 pm. Citizen in Sabah, Malaysia will be able to observe the entire phenomena because the Sun rises before the transit begins meanwhile citizen in Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak can only observe the transit at Sun rises. 

This upcoming transit of Venus will be the last one for the 21st century. It will take place across a period of nearly seven hours on June 5-6, 2012. This extremely rare astronomical event won’t happen again until December 11, 2117...which is another century later. The last transit of Venus was June 8, 2004.

Depending on where you live worldwide, the transit of Venus will happen on June 5 or 6, 2012. If you live in the world’s Western Hemisphere (North America, northwestern South America, Hawaii, Greenland or Iceland), the transit will start in the afternoon hours on June 5. In the world’s Eastern Hemisphere (Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia or New Zealand), the transit will first be seen at sunrise or in the morning hours on June 6. Much of the world will see it.

You must find a way to protect your eyes if you plan to watch the transit of Venus on June 5-6, 2012. Amateur astronomer with a telescopes will be using safe solar filters on the sky end of their scopes to watch the transit. If you don’t have this setup, you still have options, but not as many as for a solar eclipse. Remember, the sun is small in the sky, and Venus is much much smaller. So solar eclipse glasses and welder’s glass might not work. Unless you have a telescope with a special solar filter, you’ll probably want to use one of these options: 

- A home-rigged indirect viewing method. 
- Local viewing at astronomy club, park or nature center. 
- Online viewing. 

Whatever you do, NEVER look at the sun directly without a safe filter in place to protect your eyes. Besides your unprotected eyeballs, here are some other things you should not use. Do NOT use sunglasses, polaroid filters, smoked glass, exposed color film, x-ray film, or photographic neutral density filters. 

Last transit of Venus in our lifetimes! Get ready to observe the transit ... 

-sciencedaily n angkasa-