2:09 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Last Chance to See Rare Transit of Venus

LEXINGTON, Ky. - A rare astronomical event on Tuesday will allow people to see the movement of a planet in between Earth and the Sun. It’s called the transit of Venus.

“You’ll see Venus as unresolved little dot that will move over the two and half hours available for us across the face of the sun; move about halfway across,” says Tim Knauer, director of the University of Kentucky observatory.

Because Earth and Venus are on different orbital planes, the transit is rare. It last occurred in 2004 but won’t happen again for another 105 ½ years  years.

“Scientifically it was of importance centuries ago because it helped us determine the absolute scale of the solar system,” says Knauer.

In central Kentucky the transit of Venus will start at 6:04 PM EDT.

Telescopes with special filters for looking at the Sun will be available to the public Tuesday at the UK Arboretum in Lexington. The Sun can also be safely viewed through a piece of #14 welder’s glass.  Click here for more information.