Rare transit of Venus to occur June 5th.

A transit of the planet Venus across the face of the Sun will occur next Wednesday, June 5th, and will be visible for the most part, weather permitting, in this area.  Transits of Venus are quite rare.  They occur in pairs separated by 8 years, followed by either 105.5 or 121.5 years in between each pair.  The last transit occurred in 2004, and the next one will not happen until the year 2117.  The reason is that due to the tilt of Venus' orbit it normally passes either above or below the Sun as seen from Earth every time Venus reaches what is known as inferior conjuction.

The transit will begin in this area on June 5th at about 4:09 PM MDT.  Venus will slowly move across the face of the Sun through early evening, reaching it's midpoint at about 7:36 PM.  Venus will still be crossing the face of the Sun when it sets a little less than an hour later later, close to 8:30 PM MDT thus residents in this area will not see the full transit.

If you plan to view this event, take adequate safety measures.  Never look directly at the Sun!  Use #14 welders glass, or use projection methods.  Another way is to access a webcast.

For more information, go to NASA's transit page here:  www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/2012-venus-transit.html

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