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Science / Space

Planet Venus to Make an Appearance Across the Sun Today

transit of venus.jpg
Courtesy of NASA.gov

The transit of Venus, when the planet can be seen as a black dot moving across the sun, is happening today starting at 6 PM.

The transit of Venus happens every 100 years or so and tonight's viewing is the last one of the century. The next viewing won't be until December 2117.

The transits usually occur in pairs and in a time span of about 8 years. The first one happened in 2004.

If you're watching out for the transit of Venus, don't look at the sun with the naked eye. For information on looking at the sun safely, click here.

There's viewing events scheduled around the Tampa Bay area:

  • Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI): will have telescopes with solar filters for viewing atop the IMAX Dome theatre and a planetarium show from 6 to 9 PM. It's $20 for the event, $15 for members. Registration is required: call 813.987.6000
  • St. Petersburg Astronomy Club: will have a viewing event at 15102 Gulf Blvd, Madeira Beach on the deck of the Old Snack Shack. The event is free and there will be astronomers there to answer questions.
  • St. Petersburg Astronomy Club: will also have a viewing event on the University of South Florida Tampa campus. The event is free and will take place at the Richard A. Beard parking garage, top floor at 6 PM. Astronomy professor Dr. Kevin MacKay will be present.
  • St. Petersburg College Planetarium: will have telescopes with solar filters and a projection TV to view the transit starting at 5:45 PM. The event is at the St. Petersburg College Gibbs campus 69th St. at Fifth Ave on the third floor of the Natural Science building. The event is free.

You can also watch the transit from NASA's live remote webcast here.

If the sky is cloudy, it might be more difficult to see the transit of Venus.