Using the Moon to View the Venus Transit

The astronomers in charge of the Hubble space telescope are going to try and use the sunlight reflected from the Moon to view the transit of Venus in June.  Because the Hubble cannot look directly at the Sun, this would make sense.  But what are they trying to do? Well the good folks over at Hubblesite have the explaination…extra-solar planets.  What?  That’s right, by looking at the atmosphere of Venus in this fashion scientists hope to be able to use this technique on extra-solar planets to determine what they are made of, their atmosphere and other important data.

I, however, am preparing myself to view this months annular eclipse and then use the techniques I learn to photograph the transit in June and the total eclipse in November.  If this is the last year for planet Earth (NOT!), it will be a fun one.

P.S. the Mayan calendar is probably a perpetual calendar so everything just starts over again at the year zero.

Transit of Venus

2004.06.08 Venus Transit, Celestron 8" Ca...

2004.06.08 Venus Transit, Celestron 8″ Catadioptric Telescope (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another astronomical eye-fest is happening in June.  The planet Venus and Earth will be alined in the right places so that we can see Venus transit the Sun.  A transit occurs like an eclipse (see yesterdays post).  Venus will be traveling across the surface of the Sun and it will be viewable to us here in the United States.  For more information on how to safely view the transit I recommend you go here.

Warning!!! Never look directly at the Sun, it will blind you.  Check out the resources at the link above for safe ways to view the transit.

– Ex astris, scientia –

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