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EXCLUSIVE: Venus Transit -Your Exclusive ATS Guide.

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posted on May, 29 2004 @ 08:45 AM

With all of the interest about the Venus transit in the coming weeks on ATS, I felt it would be best to provide ATS with a sort of guide to the event. This is an incredible rare event. So rare that in the time between 2000 BC and 4000 AD only 81 Venus transits shall occur.

A little information about Venus
Diameter: 7,520 miles, which is slightly smaller than the size of the Earth.
Distance: 67-million miles from the Sun (about .72 AU); 26-million miles from the Earth.
Rotation: 243 Earth-days long, retrograde (the Sun rises in the west). Its day is longer than its year.
Orbit: 221 Earth-days long.
Notable Features: Third brightest object in the night sky; known as the Evening or Morning Star; too often mistaken for a UFO; atmosphere mostly made of CO2, with sulfuric acid rain, temperatures exceeding 900 F, and lightening; no magnetic field or moon; no plate tectonics, volcanoes are caused by convection. Like the moon, Venus also goes through phases, but are only observable through a telescope.
History: Named after the Roman goddess of love, the Greek equivalent of Aphrodite. The day 'Friday' comes from Venus' name from the Saxons: Fria. To the Mayan's people Venus was the God of War, who beamed down rays of evil bringing about death and destruction. Because of these Mayan beliefs, their calendar is based off of the cycles of Venus, and ends in 2012 - shortly after the next time Venus transits the Sun.
Transit: The transits follow a cycle, taking 243 years. The last transit of Venus was 122 years ago, in 1882. The cycle is unique in the fact that two transits may be seen within a span of 8 years, but after the second transit one will not be seen for over a century. Transits do not occur every time Venus orbits for the same reasons solar and lunar eclipses do not occur all the time. The Earth and Venus do not orbit in exactly the same plane, so the Sun, Venus, and Earth must all be aligned perfectly. During the 19th Century astronomers used the transits of Venus to discern the size of the solar system and measure distances to nearby stars. Only 6 transits have been recorded by astronomers, beginning with the transit of 1631.

Where and when the transit will be visible
If you live in Europe, the Middle East, all of western Asia and most of eastern Asia, and most of eastern Africa, consider yourself lucky. All of the eclipse will be visible there. In the farthest eastern most parts of mainland Asia to Japan, Indonesia, and Australia the transit will begin at or during sunset. While if you live in eastern North or South America the transit will be in progress at sunrise.

[line feeds for ATSNN]

NASA has listed times of contacts for major cities around the globe here: . For cities in the United States times are listed here: .

To read these graphs may seem a little tricky, but they are incredible easy to learn to read. First off, the times are given in UTC. I'll give an example using London, England.

Location External Sun Internal Sun Greatest Sun Internal Sun External Sun
Ingress Alt Ingress Alt Transit Alt Egress Alt Egress Alt
h m s h m s h m s h m s h m s
London 05:19:54 12 05:39:47 15 08:22:42 40 11:04:05 59 11:23:36 61

Going from left to right: 'External Sun Ingress' is when Venus begins to touch the limb (edge) of the Sun on the way towards transit. 'Internal Sun Ingress' is the time when Venus has fully passed in front of the Sun. 'Greatest Sun Transit' is fairly obvious - it is when Venus has reached its peak in transit and is headed off of the disk of the Sun. 'Internal Sun Egress' is when Venus has reached the limb of the Sun and is starting to pass off of the disk of the Sun. 'External Sun Egress' is when Venus has fully passed off of the disk of the Sun.

The altitudes for each time are given in degrees above the horizon. To approximate these degrees, hold out your arm straight out and make a fist with your thumb on top of your hand (so your hand is on its side). That is about 10 degrees.

How to view the transit safely

That cannot be stressed enough. In doing so you could permanently damage your eyes or even cause blindness. Have you ever take a magnifying glass and burned leaves (and by leaves I mean insects)? Well that is what looking at the Sun is doing to your eyes.

One safe way, using any pair of binoculars or telescope, is to aim the device at the sun and allowing the magnified image to be projected out and onto a wall, sidewalk, or anything else white. An elaboration of this technique is to project the image onto a mirror angled towards a white wall or ceiling. This can allow for a larger image. Also, not only will you see Venus, but you may also see sunspots (if there are any.) Keep in mind: If you're using a telescope, keep the finder scope capped. If you're using binoculars, keep one of the tubes capped. This is because the two images would interfere with each other.

Pinhole Projector
This one is a mix of Astronomy and Arts and crafts. Using a large box (or a couple smaller boxes), some aluminum foil, a pin, and a sheet of paper you can view the sun. They're very simple to build, and a good activity for kids. The only downside is that the image is often unclear and unsatisfyingly small. For instructions on how to build one of your own:

Exposed and Developed Black-and-White Film
Another mix of Astronomy and Arts and Crafts, though something the kids may not have as much fun with this time. First off, only true black-and-white film can be used. When developed a thin layer of silver, which is what protects your eyes, is formed. First, open a roll of black and white film, exposing it to sunlight for a minute or two. Have this film developed in order to get negatives to be used as the filter. Tape together two negatives, in order for best viewing and safety. If you want to really be a dork you can do as I did and buy some paper 3D-glasses, knock out the blue and red filters, and tape these film filters in their place.

Welder's Goggles
You can use welder's goggles to look directly at the Sun, as long as they have a rating of 14 or higher.

CAUTION: You CANNOT look through a telescope while wearing these goggles. The heat from the concentrated light will crack the lense.

Live Television and Web Broadcasts
Weather got you down or you can't view the eclipse from your locations? Or maybe you just hate being outdoors? Well here's the answer for you. NASA and a few other Astronomy orientated websites and organizations are sponsoring live webcasts. For more information, visit:

Solar Filters
The best way, and most fun, is to look directly at the Sun using a telescope or binoculars that employ the use of a solar filter. These filters allow for longer and direct viewing of the Sun, as that they only let a fraction of the Sun's light pass through them. Most of them are made of Aluminized Mylar, which gives the sun a blue-gray color. More expensive than Aluminized Mylar lenses are metal-coated glass lenses. These allow for different colors to be seen in the sun, and sometimes a sharper image.

CAUTION: I would recommend NOT using 'solar eyepieces'. They have a tendency to heat up and crack, allowing the concentrated power of the Sun to enter the eye.

What NOT to use
Under no circumstances should you look at the Sun at any time using sunglasses, Polaroid photographs, smoked glass, color or chromogenic black-and-white film, compact disks, or floppy disk data.

What You'll See
What will most likely be seen is an image similar to this image taken by NASA's SOHO last May when Mercury transited the sun.

The path of Venus across the disk of the sun can be seen in this image.

As Venus fully enters or begins to leave the disk of the Sun you may see what is called the 'black-' or 'tear-drop' effect.

Two things cause this: the Sun is less bright at the edges and the atmosphere distorts the image (the same reason stars will twinkle).

Related Websites, News Articles, and ATS Threads
MSNBC - Venus Transit Links Us to Early Astronomy

AboveTopSecret - Predictions - Get Ready For Anomalous Events

AboveTopSecret - Secret Societies - 8th of June 2004

CBS News | Venus To Trek Across Sun's Face

Transit Observer
Java applet that displays the positions of the Sun, Venus, and Mercury at anytime at any location. Also, several preset locations for major cities around the world are included. Very detailed and easy to use.

2004 Transit of Venus - Cities

2004 Transit of Venus - Cities (USA)

Solar Eclipse: How to View (Page 1 of 2)

Observing Eclipses Safely

NASA - Venus Transit: The Incredibly Rare Event is Visible in your Backyard or Live on the Web

Transit Headquarters: Venus Crosses the Sun June 8

Night Sky Friday: Plan Ahead: Rare Transit of Sun by Venus

Do-it-yourself Sunspot Watching

Venus Transit Brief InfoSheet D9

Venus Transit Background - Brief InfoSheet F1

"There will be no other till the Twenty-First century of our era has dawned upon the Earth, and the June flowers are blooming in 2004.... What will be the state of science when the next transit season arrives God only knows." (American astronomer William Harkness in 1882).

[edit on 7-6-2004 by John bull 1]

[edit on 8-6-2004 by John bull 1]

[edit on 8-6-2004 by John bull 1]

posted on May, 29 2004 @ 09:00 AM
Excellent work cmdrkeenkid, I've been really looking forward to the Venus transit since I heard about it so thanks alot for the info.

It looks like I'm one of the lucky ones who gets to see the full thing as well.

posted on May, 29 2004 @ 09:08 AM

Have you ever take a magnifying glass and burned leaves (and by leaves I mean insects)?

Um.. Yes .. Ok I admit it when I was 7 I did steal my Grandmother's magnifying glass she used for reading... and I discovered that you could burn paper with it... Later I found an ant hill near my home.. I am guilty. It was a massacre beyond words. I would feel bad about it now but I was a kid and had little understanding about the world or the importance of ants!


I love stuff like this

This is the best of ATS at work and thank you for sharing it with us!


[Edited on 29-5-2004 by UM_Gazz]

posted on May, 29 2004 @ 09:19 AM
cmdrkeenkid, great work, very informative, great links too
I'm looking forward to June 8th, probably won't see in it person, but will be watching it online.

posted on May, 29 2004 @ 11:57 AM
hey thanks everyone

i tried making this as comprehensive and easy to read as possible, but if anyone has a question or feels i left something out, let me know.

posted on May, 29 2004 @ 04:14 PM
Great... being in Colorado puts me right on the edge of the, NO TRANSIT VISIBLE thing... well... I'll have to bookmark that site so I can watch it online.

posted on May, 30 2004 @ 04:45 AM
Can I just raise my hand and make a note for all those who are thinking "What the hell is the interest in this about".

One of the inventions devloped to watch the transit of venus was a camera that could take a picture every second, and record the images on a slide.

The inventor, who's name excapes me, met Grahame Bell, who thought it was a wonderful idea, and spured on by the man, proceeded to create the movie camera.

So it does directly affect the average couch potato

posted on May, 30 2004 @ 08:18 AM
Exelent CKK, I'll be sure to have my telescope ready to check this one out.

All hail to the master of astrology

posted on May, 30 2004 @ 08:52 AM

What a most informative post! Thank you so much for educating me on this. And the transit is during my birfday! wonder what that means for me???

posted on May, 30 2004 @ 09:13 AM
The poles in this image are not correct. The Sun's poles flipped well over a year ago. The North is now South and vise versa...

posted on May, 30 2004 @ 10:06 AM

Originally posted by Shugo
All hail to the master of astrology

call me that again and i slap you... don't get me started on all the reason why astrology is wrong again mister!

Originally posted by energy_wave
The poles in this image are not correct. The Sun's poles flipped well over a year ago. The North is now South and vise versa...

yeah, well that's similar to the earth's north pole is actually a south magnetic pole. i think they did it as that in order to show a visual north on the disk of the sun.

posted on May, 30 2004 @ 10:08 AM
I think you're right CKK. Just like geocentered reference frames call the north pole north and will probably always do so for the sake of consistency - irrespective of the actual direction of the "north pole".

posted on May, 31 2004 @ 01:34 AM

Originally posted by Valhall
I think you're right CKK. Just like geocentered reference frames call the north pole north and will probably always do so for the sake of consistency - irrespective of the actual direction of the "north pole".

yeah, just like how there's a geographic north pole and the magnetic north pole.

posted on May, 31 2004 @ 01:42 AM
Well done! Five stars, three cheers and two thumbs up!!!
All hail ASTRONOMY!!!!

posted on Jun, 1 2004 @ 04:52 PM
Hey guys didnt anyone hardly noticed that Venus Transit is actually 1000 days after sept 11 2001?

posted on Jun, 7 2004 @ 03:39 PM
I hope folks won't mind, but I'm going to cross-link to the Venus transit watchers' thread. I know people might be interested in seeing it, and some of us aren't living in places where it will be viewable:

posted on Jun, 7 2004 @ 04:25 PM
Guess whose in the 'No transit visible' area ?
Typical :shk:
Looks like I'll have to watch it on the net

posted on Jun, 7 2004 @ 04:53 PM
I'll have to watch on the net too, although I am able to see the later parts of it.

I don't have any equipment, so barring burning my eyes out of my head, I think I'll catch it on the web.

posted on Jun, 7 2004 @ 05:06 PM
Wow, what a great, informative and comprehensive post. You have shown why I love ATS!!!
Alas, I'm in the non-viewing zone too.

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