Tonight, you will have a once in a lifetime chance to gaze at a rare solar system event.
Venus will transit the sun today, Tuesday, June 5, 2012, and Waltham City Common will be hosting a viewing event.
- From 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Ira Perlow, a Waltham parent with an interest in space, will host a viewing event at the concert stage on the city common. Also, from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m., viewers ay watch any sunspots.
- The transit of Venus across the sun is when Venus passes between sun and the earth, giving the appearance of solar eclipses, according to Perlow.
- “It's exactly like a total eclipse of the sun, except you are not blocking out the whole sun,” Perlow said in an interview.
- The last transit of Venus of the sun was in 2004, according to Perlow.
- “It is one of the rarest astronomical events that occurs regularly. The transit of Venus occurs twice, separated by 8 years, with a gap of another 104 years before the next pair. It is very unlikely anyone viewing this one will see the next one in 2117,” Perlow said in a press release.
VIEWING GUIDELINES (according to Perlow)
- Avoid using aluminized Mylar or welding shields to view the transit. Both items don’t offer any eye protection.
- Avoid taking pointing cameras or anything with a lens at the sun as they could damage lenses.
- Filters will be available at the event that can be used to view or take photos of the event.
- Other safe viewing tips.
- It will also be viewable online at a NASA website.
Perlow was inspired to hold the viewing party after doing a similar event in 2004 at the McDevitt Middle School. Perlow, in an interview with Waltham Patch, said he did it to encourage students to take an interest in science and math.
“I always tried to encourage any kind of things that would help kids get excited in science, math,” he said.