Armchair astronomers don’t need to step outside to partake in a rare celestial event this afternoon and evening when Venus passes between Earth and the sun, the last such transit until 2117.
The internet will be a hub of activity during the event with dozens of websites and organizations hosting webcasts and broadcasting live video and pictures from ground- and space-based observatories.
Discovery News is co-host of a live video feed from the Mount Wilson Observatory, located outside Los Angeles, with Mike Simmons, founder and president of Astronomers Without Borders. The webcast goes live about 5:45 p.m. EDT.
NASA astronaut Don Pettit will be posting pictures from his viewing spot aboard the International Space Station, 240 miles above the planet.
“I’ve been planning this for a while,” Pettit said in a NASA interview. “I knew the transit of Venus would occur during my rotation, so I brought a solar filter with me.”
NASA will have several video feeds from its Solar Dynamics Observatory, as well as a roundup from some of its other spacecraft and telescopes. The space agency also will host a live webchat beginning at 5:45 p.m. EDT.
Slooh Space Camera will broadcast 12 to 15 real-time feeds of the transit from solar telescopes located in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Hawaii, Norway, Arizona, and New Mexico. The webcast begins at 5:30 p.m. EDT.
The National Solar Observatory, which will be conducting science experiments during the six-hour, 40-minute transit, also will be posting images collected from a global network of instruments during a live webcast.
You also can take a look at what people around the world are seeing, read about historical transits of Venus and Mercury or find local events in your area. Remember that telescopes used to view the transit directly must be outfitted with a solar filter to avoid damage to your eyes.
Image: Test images for today’s live Venus transit show from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Credit: NASA/Irene Klotz for Discovery News