In a few hours a transit of Venus (passage of Venus in front of Sun, as seen from Earth) will begin. The event will be at least partially visible from most of the world (only parts of Africa and South America are out of luck, and Portugal too). Unless medicine get way better in a few decades, no one of us gets a second chance (the next one is scheduled no sooner than one hundred and five years from now, and that schedule will be met ).
Should you be interested, more information can be found at the Bad Astronomy Blog. If you decide to take a look, please follow the instructions in that article. Looking directly into the sun with unaided eye is not recommended, and looking at it using binoculars or a telescope can blind you instantly.
Unfortunately, its very cloudy and a little rain here - so I'm quite doubtful if I would be able to see this
Dave Trower wrote:I am planning on seeing it tonight
Are you sure? It is highly recommended to see the transition during the day You might be talking in reference to a particular time zone I guess.
Apart from this, if you want to photograph it - use a very high shutter speed (faster than 1/1500 sec) instead of using ND filter and taking long exposure shot. Sun rays are not very friendly with camera sensor.
And most importantly, do not ever, try to see it via optical viewfinder. Even if you have state of the art full frame DSLR which boasts of 100% viewfinder, please, please use live view to take this shot. Watching sun through viewfinder will make the viewer blind instantly (at least that is what people say - I haven't tried it, and I'm not gonna try it ). I agree that focusing is quite slower with live view, than with viewfinder, but then, you are focusing on sun, not some sports car in high speed
This will be the last Venus transit of our lives, so enjoy!
Anayonkar Shivalkar wrote:And most importantly, do not ever, try to see it via optical viewfinder.
This cannot be overstated enough. The same holds for binoculars and telescopes. Unless you know EXACTLY what you are doing, never look directly at the sun with any of these. And if you DO know what you are doing, you'll know not do to it!!!
It's just like using a magnifying glass to set leaves on fire - except in this case, it would be your retina, not a leaf.
There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
I woke up an hour early to have a look at it (here in Europe it was visible during sunrise). But it was completely overcast and raining, so there was nothing to see. Well, I'll just hope that someone invents a pill so that I can live to be 146 years old, and hope that the weather will be better in December 2117.
Jesper de Jong wrote:I woke up an hour early to have a look at it (here in Europe it was visible during sunrise). But it was completely overcast and raining, so there was nothing to see. Well, I'll just hope that someone invents a pill so that I can live to be 146 years old, and hope that the weather will be better in December 2117.
Well, I had a good chance to see previous transit (in 2004), so, even though I missed this one (for the same reason - clouds), I don't feel too bad
On a serious note, just to see another Venus transit, living 105 years more is not worth
There was only a small time window between the the clouds mostly dissipating and the sun going below the tree line. Even then, the image projected by my ad-hoc pin hole camera (made out of a McD's pop cup and a receipt from a recent car repair) was pretty fuzzy. Between what I could see and what I wanted to see, I'm going to declare that I the little dark splotch was in fact Venus and not a bit of cloud or other non-Venutian object. The size matched up pretty well with what was in the 2004 images.