June 5th, 2012

nighthawks

"Since the beginning of time, Man has yearned to destroy the Sun..."

"Since the beginning of time, Man has yearned to destroy the Sun. I will do the next best thing... block it out!"
---C. Montgomery Burns, THE SIMPSONS


Well, I think I'm as prepared as I can be for this evening's transit of Venus.

I made this Solar Observ-a-screen from a piece of posterboard, some black tape, and a piece of 2" x 4-1/4" #14 filter welder's glass.

And then from a specialty telescope shop (Thanks, Camera Bug in Atlanta!) I got the paper-and-plastic glasses.

Through the welding glass the Sun is green, through the paper-and-plastic glasses it's orange.

Now if it can just manage partly cloudy/sunny from 6:05 PM ET to sunset (8:46pm here in Atlanta) this evening, and not full-on cloudy or rain. Right now it's raining, but it looks like around 4 PM there'll be a change of weather.

This will be the last transit of Venus for 105 years, until 2117.

But there is a total solar eclipse in 2017.

As with any time you decide to stare at the Sun, practice eye safety. Here's some tips.