Watch the transit of Venus on your computer

Posted by Michael Bakich
on Monday, June 04, 2012

Astroimager Philippe Moussette captured the 2004 transit of Venus from Québec, Canada, with his Canon digital Rebel DSLR. He used a 400mm lens set at f/5.6.
On Tuesday, June 5, starting at 2 p.m. MST, the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter will provide a live Internet broadcast of the last transit of Venus until December 2117. The SkyCenter is a learning facility run by the University of Arizona in Tucson. It sits atop Mount Lemmon, which rises 9,157 feet (2,791 meters) above sea level just north of Tucson.

A transit occurs when a planet closer to the Sun (Mercury or Venus) appears to cross the solar disk from our point of view. Mercury transits are unusual. Transits of Venus are downright rare. They occur in pairs separated by eight years. The pairs, however, don’t repeat for at least 105 years.

Top-notch astroimager and longtime Astronomy contributor Adam Block is the broadcast’s organizer. Visit the front page of the SkyCenter’s website at http://skycenter.arizona.edu/. Click the play button to begin the feed. Adam suggests viewers check in at 2 p.m. MST (one hour before the transit begins).

I know I speak for the many potential viewers who may experience cloudy skies during the transit: “Thanks, Adam!”

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