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back to article Shy Venus in rare Sun crossing next month

Venus will pass across the face of the Sun just four weeks, the last chance for more than a century to observe our nearest planetary neighbour crossing our star’s fiery surface. Known as a “transit of Venus” the event will take place on June 5th and 6th. The last transit took place in 2004, but the next is not due until 2117. …

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thanks

Thanks for the reminder and the link with such useful informative data. I noticed a regional map where transit will be seen in wikipedia, could not figure out when and which part of the Sun it is going through.

According to this more detailed map, if my calculations are correct (done with emacs' calendar) we'll catch first 4 hours of the ingress in my area! Moreover, I will be able to see it with the sunset out of my window! Exciting, don't wanna wait for the next one :)

Should check the calculations, remember to get some filter glasses and ... some liquor to fill the other type of glasses for the occasion (and in that very order :))

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Re: thanks

Would anyone like to predict the probability that it'll be raining?

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Coat

Avoid the crowds, make sure you are in the van

The transit van...

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Go and purchase

a A4 sheet of Baader astrofilm.

It looks like mylar (it isnt) and makes viewing the sun safe through a camera, binocs or a telescope.

I use if for photographing sun spots and general solar observation through my 'scope...

Cant wait for this....

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Dont purchase anything

don’t look at the sun though anything, air included.

By far the best way to watch this is to use projection.

If you have a pair of binoculars and a tripod you can set the binoculars pointing in the general direction of the sun WITHOUT looking though them. A piece of cardboard a couple of foot square to cover up all but one objective lens will allow an image of the sun to be projected onto a white sheet of card, or even a piece of tracing paper for you to observe the transit. Can be a bit fiddly so you may wish to practice a bit before hand - I've even seen prominences doing this.

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Boffin

Re: Dont purchase anything

No offence but lets see your pinhole camera beat this:

http://www.freeimagehosting.net/wx86x

From my scope with astrofilm.

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Boffin

Re: Dont purchase anything

You are right when talking about looking through CDs and glass blackened with soot. There are however perfectly safe solutions. My Thousand Oaks glass objective solar filter works fine on my 8" scope. I watched and photographed the solar eclipse in 1999 with that scope, and the previous transit of Venus in 2004. Baader Solar film is perfectly safe, if attached correctly in front of the objective lens. All eyepiece filters are an absolute menace. I have recently made a solar filter out of it for my kids 4.5" F/4.4 Newtonian, and my eldest son and I had a nice view of sunspots through it. All harmful UV is blocked, and the total energy levels remain quite low.

Projection is actually dangerous in most reflectors, and certainly Maksutovs, Schmidt Cassegrains, and other scopes with fast primary mirrors, as the secondary can shatter under thermal stress, and even in fast refractors I would prefer a filter as the thermal stresses might cause eyepieces to shatter. In slow refractors projection is fine, especially as multiple can watch simultaneously.

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Re: Dont purchase anything

Upvote for that explanation.

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Re: Dont purchase anything

The cardboard might go on fire.

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Re: Dont purchase anything

I guess I was not really posting for experienced astronomers but after the 'eclipse' here it was patently obvious that some people are not aware of just how dangerous it can be to look at the sun.

I'd never let my kids look through my f8 6" newtonian even with a filter attached - kids can get very impatient and as its over 100 years old (Fred Hoyle started his astronomy on it!!) I cant fix anything safely to it (cast iron).

I've projected using it many many times, and much faster ones as well with no problems. I guess they don’t make decent secondaries any more. I'd rather shatter a secondary than risk my kids eyes - especially as they could loose one when their time is up.

But maybe some of that filter and projection!

If you want fast I've got a 16" f0.5 (yes 0.5) cassegrain (?) mirror that I have no idea what its for but that’s good for showing people why its not a good idea to look at the sun.

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Re: Dont purchase anything

You're missing my point.

Baader film is specifically designed for this task, it blocks 99.9999% of light.

It shows the sun in its true colour (white).

No need for any further protection, slap some on the front of your scope, binocs, etc and observe away in **complete** safety.

DO NOT PUT IT ON THE EYEPIECE!!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dont purchase anything

I'll say it upfront, I'm an idiot, but words of warning - I once took a photo of the setting Sun whilst on holiday (the sun was just on the horizon, not full). I was using a digital camera with an LCD screen on the back. However, I briefly looked through the view finder to line up a few shots. What I forgot about was that the view finder acts as a magnifier and little did I know that my eye was getting slowly burnt (you don't feel anything, the light receptors in your eyeball get cooked). As soon as I realised what I was doing I pulled back and discovered my vision through my right eye had a kind of blurry smudge. Panic etc.. very (very!) fortunately after a few days the blur receded and I have my vision back.

Just saying, I would never EVER again let my eyeball come in to contact with directly magnified sunlight, even filtered, it's just too risky. Pinhole/projection/CCD is the ONLY safe way.

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The british version

> Venus in rare Sun crossing next month

Clouds in common Sun crossing next month, next week, tomorrow and most of the rest of the "summer"

Though if you do fancy a shot, £20 for an A4 sheet of Baader film for your telescope is fine. Comz1 is correct - just make sure you buy the ND5 film, not the "weaker" one meant for astrophotograhy.

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Anonymous Coward

I always thought....

..the 'transit of Venus' was a sort of shagging waggon?

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Gav
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Angel

Looking at the bigger picture

Captain Cook, retinal burns, exoplanets, oh the wonder of it all, blah, blah, blah. No-one cares. Let's not forget that the universe revolves around us and all this is all about determining future events.

Conjunction of Venus & the Sun means that Libras will find those keys that went missing last month. Leos will have faintly uneasy feeling they forgot to lock the door, but only for the duration of the transition. Cancers will suffer from an itch on their left ear the entire day. Aquarius will suddenly be smitten by how cute kittens are, and Geminis will die horribly in accidents involving golf.

The cosmos; never too busy being awesome to concern itself with petty human affairs.

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Vic
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App is a bit iffy

I downloaded the Android app mentioned in the article.

It requires a full-time Internet connection. Which I'm unlikely to have when outside[1].

Without a connection, it just throws up an error box until you reconnect.

So I uninstalled it.

Vic.

[1] I'm on a very cheap PAYG tarriff, which means having a net connection costs money.

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The Venus Star

I told my Mum about this recently.

And she said oh yeah - the Venus Star.

I said: It's not a Star. It's a planet.

She said: Oh, I know, we just used to call it the Venus Star coz it was so bright.

I shut up. Another reason not to argue with my sweet old Mum.

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Coat

Exoplanet??

Ermmm ... aren't exoplanets the ones outside our solar system??

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