Tag Archive: science



Rare transition of Venus across the sun, for the western hemisphere occuring during sunset on June 5, 2012. Unless you can live another 105.5 years, this will be the last time in your lifetime you can experience this event.
Find out where to see a rare astronomical event that won't recur for more than a century, in this SPACE.com infographic.
Source: SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration
It is kindof a special kind of solar eclipse, just not of the moon, instead of Venus that is far enough away that it will just be a small dot crossing in front of the surface of the sun.
You will be able to see it without magnification from a telecsope of binoculars, but you must use eye protection, such as the welding goggles I described in the May 20 2012 solar eclipse page.
It is so rare because there are only 2 planets that can possibly get between Earth and the sun: Mercury and Venus. Mercury is smaller and farther, so it is more difficult to see but transits the sun more often because it makes a complete revolution around the sun every 88 Earth days. Venus takes 225 Earth days.
This video explains it and why it used to be important to observe the rare Venus transition. (To find out the size of the solar system)

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Some information from NASA
Find out about the planet Venus' dramatic trip across the face of the sun in June 2012 in this SPACE.com infographic.
Source SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

Originally posted Aug 13, 2009:

A partial eclipse will be visible to most of Asia during sunrise Monday morning, then later Sunday evening it will be visible in the western half of North America during sunset.  (Now I realize how confusing crossing the International Date Line can be)

The moon can be seen directly in front of the sun first from the southeast edge of China, then Japan, at its greatest at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean just south of the island chain stretching from Alaska, across the southwest corner of Oregon, northern California, the middle half of Nevada, southwest Utah, northern Arizona, northwest to southeast New Mexico, and right at sunset, the southern part of the Texas panhandle.

From Austin, Texas, you can observe the partial eclipse from 7:34pm until sunset at 8:21pm.

See this Google map for the best time to observe this eclipse from the location you will be in that day.  Note that all times are in universal time (GMT).  Also see this almanac page about the moon and sun rise/set times.  Change it to your location for more accurate information.

See this safety information about viewing a solar eclipse.  I ordered some welder’s goggles from Amazon for $5.70 but they only come with clear glass, so I am installing these shade number 14 lenses for them for $4.98 a pair.

Additional eclipse safety information.

Related SPACE.COM article about solar eclipses.

The source for my solar eclipse information: NASA

Also see info about the rare upcoming June 6 2012 Venus Transit.

The moon will begin eclipsing at 12:32am Central Time the morning of Dec21, it will be fully within the Earth’s shadow from 1:40am – 2:53am, and at 4:01am, it will be over.  The eclipse will be visible to the entire western hemisphere the night of Dec 20 through the early morning of Dec 21.

More information.

The source for my lunar eclipse information: NASA

From central Texas, you will be able to observe the moon begin to partially eclipse on its way down, at 5:17am Central time.  It will be half eclipsed at the greatest at 6:38am, which is shortly after the moon goes below the horizon in central Texas, and at 8:00am, the eclipse will be over.

More information.

The source for my lunar eclipse information: NASA

Update 6/25/2010 – 5:35pm CST – Less than 12 hours to go before it begins.  Since it will be eclipsed as it goes past the horizon, it seem to be magnified by an illusion known as “moon illusion”.  Details here.

It will be visible from pretty much all of the North America continent.  Look for it shortly before sunset, particularly the southern United States and Mexico.

The source for my solar eclipse information: NASA

It’s the day I turn 50 years old. Might be the end of the world. (probably not) although exactly 7 years later on 4/13/2036, Apophis will be return and will get even closer than it did on 4/13/2029.