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Transit of Venus on Tuesday, June 8

OK, I've been on Daddy time and have much to tell, but I want first and foremost to make sure you all realize that the Transit of Venus will be occurring on Tuesday, June 8 in much of the world, and this is the first chance anyone has had to see such an event since 1882. You'll get one more chance in 2012 (if the weather is good), and then that's it for another 105 years. There's lots of information online but this site seems like a good one to start at.

In short, Venus will pass between the Sun and the Earth, presenting a small black silhouette on the face of the Sun. You should not [ever] stare at the sun without proper protection, but there are lots of safe ways to observe, and there will undoubtedly be lots of excellent coverage in the media online and elsewhere.

However, any of us would be lucky to get this opportunity just once in our lifetime, so it's well worth the trouble of taking a look with our own (protected) eyes. Personally, I'll be getting up before sunrise and heading to a nearby New Jersey hillside. The transit will be well underway when the sun rises over New York City at 5:30 or so, and it will be over completely around 7:30 AM. People farther east will have more time to observe, but I'll be glad for any chance at all. Cross your fingers for clear skies!

Update: Sky and Telescope, of course, has one of their usual excellent guide articles on the Transit.

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