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Venus To Transit the Sun In June, Not Again Until 2117

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the not-until-the-cubs-win-the-world-series dept.

Space 143

revealingheart writes with this quote from ScienceDaily: "On 5 and 6 June this year, millions of people around the world will be able to see Venus pass across the face of the Sun in what will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It will take Venus about six hours to complete its transit, appearing as a small black dot on the Sun's surface, in an event that will not happen again until 2117. ...Transits of Venus occur only on the very rare occasions when Venus and Earth are in a line with the Sun. At other times Venus passes below or above the Sun because the two orbits are at a slight angle to each other. Transits occur in pairs separated by eight years, with the gap between pairs of transits alternating between 105.5 and 121.5 years — the last transit was in 2004." You can check this chart to see whether it'll be visible at your location, and when you should look. You'll need a safe way to watch unless you are Vulcan. And yes, there's even a phone app to help you out.

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143 comments

Is it just me... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39863817)

Or is there one of these once in a lifetime events about once a year?

Re:Is it just me... (1)

2.7182 (819680) | about 2 years ago | (#39863837)

You are dead on. There are quite a few objects out there and a lot of "special" positions they can be in. Also, I don't know if it is really safe for Vulcans, since they might be temporarily blind. The full health implications were never discussed. Macular degeneration at 200 anyone?

Re:Is it just me... (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 2 years ago | (#39863843)

Cool events happen all the time, but many of these individual events won't happen again for a long time. Like useless first posts on /. Each one is probably a different person posting, but they happen all the time... Do you see what I did there?

Re:Is it just me... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864245)

Do you see what I did there?

I see that you like niggers. Is that good enough?

Why do niggers like to wear sports jerseys? So they can pretend they have a job skill!

That's right. My own original nigger joke. You nigger. Yes yes, mod me down to make yourself feel better. Gotta follow the crowd and all that. Heaven forbidd, if we all learned to laugh at this shit instead of getting all upset over it. Why that might lead to a true colorblind society! We cannot have that. How would Democrats get elected if we didn't divide along racial lines because we had humor to unite us? Clearly this unity must be stopped.

Re:Is it just me... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864637)

Still light years ahead of you cracker. Crackers are inbred remains of the Neanderthals. Is it any wonder your race has the monopoly on Assburgers, Downs Syndrome, and every other fucktard "disease." Soon whitey will be dead from all of the weak genes.

Re:Is it just me... (4, Informative)

Relic of the Future (118669) | about 2 years ago | (#39863907)

No, but that one "Mars at closest approach!" email has been chaining around for a decade. (So remember people, make it clear that it's June 5th 2012 when you tell your Fwd: happy relatives and friends.)

But seriously, the transit of Venus IS a big deal. The first post-enlightenment ToV was how we were able to determine the size of an AU, making it the first step in the chain to understanding the size of everything else in the universe beyond the Earth.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

guanxi (216397) | about 2 years ago | (#39864335)

The first post-enlightenment ToV was how we were able to determine the size of an AU, making it the first step in the chain to understanding the size of everything else in the universe beyond the Earth.

Would you care to expand on that for the not-yet-enlightented?

Re:Is it just me... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#39864185)

You must be thinking of going out of business sales.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#39865915)

There was a shop around the corner from here with a sign "going out of business since 1994".

Yes, it was a marketing gag, but at least a funny one for a change.

Re:Is it just me... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864189)

Better yet, this exact once in a lifetime event happened a scant 8 years ago... So those of you over the age of 8 might be witnessing a twice in a lifetime event.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864415)

8 + 105.5 = 113.5

113.5 + 8 = 121.5

Assuming no global catastrophe, it's virtually certain someone born in 2003 will live through three of them, and quite possibly four.

Re:Is it just me... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864631)

But probably only be lucid to one of them

More than once (5, Insightful)

SmlFreshwaterBuffalo (608664) | about 2 years ago | (#39863821)

...in what will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience

Transits occur in pairs...the last transit was in 2004.

So, what you're saying is it could be a twice-in-a-lifetime experience for some?

Re:More than once (0)

oxapentane (2628881) | about 2 years ago | (#39863871)

Yes. I've seen it in 2004. It's not worth time and money that I've spend. Just small circle passing by on sun's surface.

Re:More than once (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39863927)

Let me make sure I've got this right. You spend time and money on observing Venus transit the sun and expected more than 'Just small circle passing by on sun's surface.' What exactly did you think was going to happen? Really I must know what you thought it was going to look like it.

Re:More than once (2)

oxapentane (2628881) | about 2 years ago | (#39864073)

It's quite hard to explain. e.g. Why dozens of people go to look on mona lisa? Just to see this really small piece of art under bulletproof glass which reflects every light in the room? Oh. Never mind. When I start to think about moments like this I usually find out that i should be in mental care hospital. ;) And my comment is just advie to everyone that they should think twice before they go to see this transit.

Re:More than once (2)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 2 years ago | (#39865621)

Well it is quite interesting to think of the fact that you can see another planet passing before the sun, if you've got any kind of child-like wonderment about the universe still left in you. I agree with you on the Mona Lisa though.

Re:More than once (2)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#39864175)

At noon, Venus' shadow will fall on the Temple of Souls. You'll have to sneak by the Nazis (Godwin allowing), climb down and sneak off with the Arc of the Covenant. Don't look in it or you'll go blind.

Vénus tout entière à sa proie atta (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#39865793)

Ce n’est plus une ardeur dans mes veines cachée,
C’est Vénus toute entière à sa proie attachée.
(Racine, Phèdre)

Yup, misled by an Enlightenment poet, he was expecting multiple orgasms.

Re:More than once (3, Informative)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | about 2 years ago | (#39863999)

What money?

WW1 aces would look into the sun with no eye protection whatsoever, because the best place to attack from was with the sun at your back.

You cannot go blind looking at the sun. [sdsu.edu]

Yes, staring for several minutes can cause some damage, even sometimes permanent damage. But a few seconds at a time? Doesn't happen. And it's much less likely to happen if you're nearsighted to begin with and don't correct your vision (don't wear glasses or contacts) - the light simply will not focus.

Re:More than once (0)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 2 years ago | (#39864041)

WW1 aces would look into the sun with no eye protection whatsoever, because the best place to attack from was with the sun at your back.

If the sun is at your back, how can you look into it?

(don't wear glasses or contacts)

Even corrective lenses with UV protection?

Re:More than once (2)

Kell Bengal (711123) | about 2 years ago | (#39864191)

Pilots like to attack with the sun behind them; that means that if you are expecting attack, you need to be looking at the sun because that's where the attack is likely to come from.

Re:More than once (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864265)

However we continue to recommend gloves to prevent blindness.
  And if you continuously cross your eyes -Yes they will stay like that.

Re:More than once (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864403)

What about if you look at the sun while masturbating?

Re:More than once (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864503)

i lol'd

Re:More than once (2)

The Snowman (116231) | about 2 years ago | (#39864401)

Not entirely true, and taken partially out of context.

Yes, the sun will hurt and be uncomfortable but not likely induce blindness. However, I have seen a telescope aimed at the sun during broad daylight focus the energy and ignite a piece of paper placed a few inches from the eyepiece. I do not possess a medical degree, but I will go out on a limb and say that it can cause blindness.

Re:More than once (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864449)

Yeah, you have to read the link.

There is a vivid first-hand account of what will happen to you if you look into a telescope pointed directly at the sun without a solar filter. The good news is that your reflexes will rapidly cause you to stop looking into the telescope, but you may not be fast enough to avoid suffering an instantaneous burn to your iris.

Re:More than once (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864639)

A telescope has aperture of thousands and thousands of square mm focused into your eye.

Your eye has an aperture of only a few millimeters. So the ratio of light coming into your eye is 1000:1. Kind of like heat generated from a candle or a jet engine on afterburner. Yes, the candle can burn you but the jet exhaust will burn you.

Re:More than once (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#39866593)

So you're telling me that focussing a lot of energy into a small surface area can cause damage? Jesus... I guess that's why it hurts trying to put drawing pins in backwards.

Pedant much?

Re:More than once (3, Funny)

Bowling Moses (591924) | about 2 years ago | (#39864105)

I've already got binoculars and a sheet of paper's pretty cheap. To me this looks like a good excuse to buy a welder's hood with #14 glass (as per the link in TFA). Once I've got the hood, that's an excuse to buy the torch...and presto! A new hobby is born!

OK, a welder's hood can be pricey. But you can buy the glass for less than $10.

Re:More than once (1)

Gadjet (957490) | about 2 years ago | (#39864691)

I used to use the film of a floppy disk (open one up, or just pull back the slider) Of course finding a floppy disk now is a little more difficult. "Get off my lawn you damn kids!"

Re:More than once (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 2 years ago | (#39866275)

You don't actually need a fancy colored glass filter you know. Most "solar filters" are actually just a plate with a small hole in it that you place over the front of the telescope to act as an aperture.

Re:More than once (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | about 2 years ago | (#39866405)

I've seen a reduced aperture used to view the moon, but I've never seen that done for viewing the sun. It would have to be a really small hole (a lot smaller than your iris; you can't look directly at the sun, can you?), and you'd lose all your resolution.

Maybe you're thinking of a pinhole camera, where you use the pinhole instead of a telescope to project a solar image.

Re:More than once (4, Interesting)

janeil (548335) | about 2 years ago | (#39864465)

Well, opinions differ. I watched that last transit on a cheapo telescope with a sun filter and would rank it very high as an astronomical experience. The perfect circle of venus moving across the sun, the speed of movement, just knowing what you were looking at was happening RIGHT NOW, blew me away. But I paid nothing, it was visible where I live. I wouldn't travel halfway across the world for a total eclipse, probably wouldn't do so to see another transit of venus, either. So, it's pretty cool, if you can watch it from your backyard.

Re:More than once (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864597)

"...just knowing what you were looking at was happening RIGHT NOW, blew me away."

Actually, what you were looking at was happening about 8 minutes ago.

Re:More than once (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865099)

If you're going to be pedantic, at least be right. The sun is about 8:18 away at the speed of light (roughly, obviously that posits a circular orbit which is not the case). Venus is quite a bit closer (38 million clicks rather than 150 million). So it depends on where you think this event is happening. Venus crossing the sun could be said to be happening at Sol, at Venus, at Earth or at some average point between two or all three of those.

Parent is right, you are wrong (2)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#39865811)

The event (visible transit of Venus) is happening at his location. Except within a cylinder the diameter of the Sun and projected from it in the direction of Venus, nothing of interest is occurring at all.

Looked at from an overall point of view, this cylinder exists all the time since the Venus-Sun axis is always there, and is only of interest when the Earth intersects it and we see a transit. So, from a time point of view, the event is happening at the Earth, neither Venus nor the Sun.

Re:More than once (1)

joocemann (1273720) | about 2 years ago | (#39864231)

Once or twice? Are ya'll listening to Aubrey DuGrey? Dude said (I think with much hope) that we may well live 500 years+.....

Mortality sucks.

Re:More than once (1)

laejoh (648921) | about 2 years ago | (#39865395)

It's twice in a lifetime max for those who look directly at the sun. The limit of 'the remaining eyes' after each transit goes to 0.

Re:More than once (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#39865939)

I protest against this unfounded assumption and generalization in the name of every mutant on the planet!

Also... (2)

Laserfuzz (157714) | about 2 years ago | (#39863835)

a good time to go out and support your local planetarium, science museum and/or local astronomy groups. (Yes, I work at a planetarium)

Re:Also... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864067)

I think it's a better time to support your local eye clinic, if this gets a lot of publicity.

Re:Also... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864329)

I think it's a better time to support your local eye clinic, if this gets a lot of publicity.

No, that's called Natural Selection. Do not interfere. It is necessary.

Re:Also... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864349)

If your local middle school science teacher, who is really a gym teacher but filling in due to budget cuts, decides to take the class out one morning to observe the event ... and the kids, knowing no better gaze full bore into the sun to get the extra credit points ... is that still natural selection?

Re:Also... (2)

AvitarX (172628) | about 2 years ago | (#39864795)

Yes, it will benefit communities that don't put ass hats like that into power. Natural selection can occur at that level as we are social creatures (thus models show "publishers" being beneficial to a system while detrimental to themselves surviving at a certain rate, benefiting the community. It makes sense for a community to tolerate the punishers, but a community of publishers collapses. The selective process trends toward the correct balance. too many complete morons in charge of raising your young will have a negative influence for that communities success, communities that let it happen will shrink.

Re:Also... (1)

sjwt (161428) | about 2 years ago | (#39867147)

Its only natural selection if that event somehow stops said ppl passing on their genes.

Slashdot is faster than I remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39863841)

I was expecting this story to show up June 7th!

“This video is not available in your country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39863853)

Damn, my whole country is outside the lucky zone. I guess I'll have to wait until next time.
  While we wait... does anyone understand this? "the gap between pairs of transits alternating between 105.5 and 121.5 years — the last transit was in 2004"

Re:“This video is not available in your coun (2)

oneiros27 (46144) | about 2 years ago | (#39864007)

The two within the 'pairs' are 8 years apart, but the full pattern is:

8 - 105.5 - 8 - 121.5 - (repeat)

Probably THE best way to "watch"... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864013)

The Sun Today - Atmospheric Imaging Assembly [lmsal.com]

Most likely the best view: 4500k - Visible Light [lmsal.com]

Images are updated every 30 minutes.

Re:Probably THE best way to "watch"... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#39865957)

I knew it. Why bother going out or anywhere, if there's anything worth being seen, there's certainly a webpage for it.

Don't listen to scientists ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864033)

This is all a big scam by science to make you give up your freedoms. Venus transits the sun once every 40 days and nights just like the good Lord intended.

In fact, this is what keeps global warming in check.

Transit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864055)

The transit isn't really that bad, it's usually the 10 hour layover that really takes its toll.

Argentina (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864081)

Sucks to be you, Argentina.

Good view from home! (3, Interesting)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | about 2 years ago | (#39864131)

I live in southwestern British Columbia, Canada, and not only will we have a good view (egress is just after sunset), the weather prospects are decent. My mylar filter is ready to go on my Takahashi, so is my Coronado PST, bought on the way to the airport to observe the 2006 eclipse in Turkey.

In 2004 I looked at creative places I might go to see the transit, and one candidate was Inuvik, thanks to the midnight sun. Until I looked at the weather prospects there, and concluded it wasn't going to happen. I got skunked by the 2010 eclipse from Mangaia in the Cook Islands, nice sunny weather the entire time, except at the time of the eclipse. Nice place, otherwise.

...laura

Re:Good view from home! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39867019)

I've got the mylar for the etx...wondering if the wife will mind if I buy a coronado... /jealous.

More info (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864187)

with weather maps http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~jander/tov2012/tovintro.htm

In Other News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864267)

Hundreds of people have been diagnosed as legally blind from an incident regarding a spectacle that involved Venus passing by the Sun. One of the individuals commented on how they suffered the predicament, stating, "It was an experience I would only get to enjoy for 6 hours of my life. I just had to watch it pass the Sun. But I just wasn't aware what I was doing to myself."

June 4th alignment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864285)

On June 4th 2012, Venus will be almost aligned with the sun, and there will be a Lunar eclipse aligning the Earth in between the Sun/Venus and the Moon. I know most of you are skeptical when it comes to Astronomical/Astrological alignments, but we also know that heavenly bodies affect our Earth in ways that we didn't thought to be possible. The Moon for example, affects our tides, thus also affecting water current. If it does that to water, why couldn't it do that to air. There has been some slight evidence that solar and lunar eclipses occur. It may be that due to Solar/Lunar gravitation and electromagnetic energy influence the Earth's ecosystem, tipping the scales in an highly unstable system such as the Earth's tectonic plates, or water and wind currents. I know it sounds like pseudoscience, but I think there is a great misunderstanding of our relationship with our solar system, and we are starting to see the reality that outer space influences Earth in more ways than just being pretty lights in the sky. We'll just have to see what happens that day.

For me, it will either help me solidify the evidence in my research, or it will cause me to rethink a lot of my beliefs. And no, I don't get any funding from anyone. God forbid anyone spends money in something that mainstream claims is pseudoscience. I guess Acupuncture, Yoga, and Meditation are just the only pseudosciences that can attract the attention of mainstream scientists.

Re:June 4th alignment (1)

gstrickler (920733) | about 2 years ago | (#39864457)

Yes, but I'm a solid Cancer. What does this alignment mean about my future?

Re:June 4th alignment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865655)

So YOU'RE the one that's killing /b/

Re:June 4th alignment (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#39866035)

Whatever influence those bodies should have on us cannot be explained with physics, aside of the moon's influence, which is very real and observable. Its influence is due to gravity, which is explained both by its relatively large size (seriously, we have the biggest moon in the solar system compared to the mass of the main body, at least since Pluto/Charon have been demoted) and its closeness. It's actually big enough to make the center of gravity of the Earth-moon system considerably outside the center of Earth. That something like this can and actually does have an influence on tides and weather is a given and easily observed.

The rest, well, the rest of the planets are simply too friggin' far away to have any measurable gravitational impact on our planet or anything on it. Even Jupiter, the largest body in our solar system aside of the sun, is insignificant in both its size and hence gravity compared to our main solar body. Its main influence, if you will, is that it acts as a huge vacuum cleaner that keeps debris from the Oort cloud away from us should that crap decide to fall towards the sun.

I'd like to be open to any kind of input you might have, and without reasonable doubt I don't want to refute your claim that the other celestial bodies have some kind of influence on us, but I have a hard time seeing just what influence they supposedly have. Aside of the sun, none emit light. Aside of the moon, none are able to block out the sunlight, and even the moon can only do so for a few minutes in decades or centuries. Aside of moon and sun, none have gravitational influence.

So whatever influence these planets should have has to be in some other way. But what way?

Warning on telescope should be larger. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864297)

DO NOT use this device to LOOK AT THE SUN.
with your remaining eye.

note to slashdot filter - I MEANT TO YELL. Thanks for screwing that up for me.

It was a big deal to 18th century astronomers (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864303)

The Royal Society and its European counterparts dispatched astronomers to various places on Earth to observe the 1761 and 1769 transits. Two of them were Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon. Between transits Mason and Dixon spent almost five years surveying the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland. Only recently have I come to appreciate the magnitude of that accomplishment, thanks in part to the Mark Knopfler song.

Re:It was a big deal to 18th century astronomers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864899)

You should read Mason and Dixon by Thomas Pynchon. It deals with that part of their lives extensively.

Actually, ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864377)

... I have a hot date that night so I might just wait for the next one :-)

Obligtory Police quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39864551)

Because someone has to say it...

"There's a little black spot on the sun today..."

Viewing Earth on Venus... (2)

fatp (1171151) | about 2 years ago | (#39865045)

During the transit, when looks at Earth from Venus, will the shadow of Venus look like a dot on Earth? What's this phenomenon called? (something eclipse??)

Re:Viewing Earth on Venus... (1)

Ironchew (1069966) | about 2 years ago | (#39865333)

During the transit, when looks at Earth from Venus, will the shadow of Venus look like a dot on Earth? What's this phenomenon called? (something eclipse??)

During the transit, Earth will be in the antumbra [wikipedia.org] of Venus, so no, there won't be a clearly-defined shadow.

Re:Viewing Earth on Venus... (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | about 2 years ago | (#39865431)

As Venus does not totally blot out the sun as seen from Earth, the shadow will not be very black. As the sun parallax is very small, the shadow will hit all of Earth almost simultaniously.

Aw, shit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865095)

I'll be out of town that week.

I'll be there (1)

Cyphase (907627) | about 2 years ago | (#39865201)

I don't know about you, but I plan to be on Venus in 2117. Then I'll scoot over to Mars to watch the 2125 transit of Venus.

Those wanting to photograph without damaging cam (4, Informative)

tanveer1979 (530624) | about 2 years ago | (#39865205)

400mm telephotos are best, but your camera will damage if you try to do direct photography.
So go to ebay.com, and get a cheap 900nm+ IR filter. These filters are so dark, that even bright sun is a pale object through them.
These cost 20$ for a 77mm filter.

With filter on, point your cam at sun, shoot with 1/1000 or faster and then quickly point camera away.

Remember, do not keep camera pointed at the sun continously.

I did a solar eclipse with 300mm lens.
Here are the pics
http://tanveer.smugmug.com/Nature/Solar-Eclipse-July-22/8996323_xLmdqp#!i=598157547&k=7ZhhD [smugmug.com] .

you can also stack two filters, but then you would need a shutter speed of 1/500 or slower.

Re:Those wanting to photograph without damaging ca (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39866419)

You must be planning on shooting F11 or faster; otherwise diffraction limits come into play, assuming an APS-C sensor. I've been shooting the Moon lately, Vivitar 200 mm F3 set to F8, with a paired Vivitar X2 adapter and on a Pentax, with no filters, but very fast shutter speeds- 1/800 or faster. The individual shots look underexposed and murky, but once you stack a few of them together details emerge, details that can't be made out by eye in a consumer telescope.
    Shooting the Sun is a few magnitudes more difficult, difficult and dangerous. I remember, as a kid, trying to look at a Solar eclipse through a cheap 50mm telescope; I was trying to look at the occluded Sunspots that were spectacular that year. It took me only a couple of seconds to cure me of that particular hobby; the Sun filter cracked while I was looking through it. Opthamologists still comment on that unique scar on my right Retina. Well, I adapted.
    Any camera with a proper shutter will handle images of the Sun quite well, although the iris and shutter may be rather cooked by exposure. The sensor should remain sheltered and unaffected, unless one does something really stupid. Like trying to shoot without a filter.
    Hey, tanveer, all your points remain valid. I'm just adding a few more cautions.
    Kids- don't mess with your eyes. You have to live with them, for the rest of your life.

Re:Those wanting to photograph without damaging ca (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39866497)

What kind of sensor size are you referring to? APS-C (i.e. a crop factor of 1.6)? If my guesstimates are correct, you'd need approximately 1500mm to have the sun or moon fill the entire height of an APS-C sensor, which is probably the most common size in consumer and low end pro DSLRs. Filling the entire sensor may be desirable for the transit, but isn't for an eclipse.

I want to watch this with the neighborhood kids... (1)

idji (984038) | about 2 years ago | (#39865321)

How do I do this? where are the best websites?

Re:I want to watch this with the neighborhood kids (1)

Anynomous Coward (841063) | about 2 years ago | (#39865809)

Last time (June 8th 2004, IMRKIAG) I mounted a cheap catadioptric 20x-50x spotting scope on a tripod, pointed it at the sun and catched the projected image on a piece of paper held about 20" from the eyepiece. By adjusting the focus and zoom I obtained a nice 4" image of the sun's disk to watch sunspots, transiting venuses and airliners.

Very easy and safe; no filters required. Binoculars might also work if you convert it into a monocular by capping one half.

Experiment now, so you'll be prepared for the event !

Re:I want to watch this with the neighborhood kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39866427)

IMRKIAG?

And this, ladies and gentlemen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865743)

Is why the internet was created, to allow global collaboration of science.

I'll just watch the best livestream battle it out in a blood sport arena for the best capability to handle a constant incoming stream of water from a firehose as they battle.

As good an excuse as any to head to Hawaii. (1)

Shag (3737) | about 2 years ago | (#39865983)

The Visitor Information Station on Mauna Kea (home of the world's top multi-band complex of large observatories) is planning to have a bunch of stuff going on for transit day - see their page [hawaii.edu] .

Sadly, I'll be in DC. :(

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